The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Bessemer now features location maps, wayfaring signs


September 7, 2019

P.J. Glisson/Daily Globe

TERRY KRYSHAK, mayor pro tempore of Bessemer, stands between a location map and wayfaring signs that are stationed at the town's Iron Belle Trailhead on Moore Street Thursday. Kryshak and DDA member Dustin Filippini installed the signs, which were made possible by city and regional funds. Also included, but not shown, is a mileage sign at the start of the trail, showing the distance to trail bridges, as well as to Ironwood and Hurley.


Bessemer - Tourists, as well as locals, will have an easier time finding key sites in Bessemer, thanks to new location maps and wayfaring signs now standing around the city.

The signs, which were installed in recent weeks, were the result of a 2018 First Impressions Tourism Grant for $2,000 from the Western Upper Peninsula Development Region.

The money, which was matched by an additional $2,000 from Bessemer's Downtown Development Authority, made it possible to fund a project in which several hired "tourists" visited the city and then critiqued what they witnessed here.

In a Thursday interview in her office, city manager Charly Loper said one of the major criticisms stemming from that study was a lack of directional signs to common tourist interests.

Funds from the grant made it possible to create the signs, which were designed at no cost by Dustin Filippini, a member of the city's downtown development authority.

Filippini also teamed with mayor pro tempore Terry Kryshak to install the signs, which direct drivers, bikers and pedestrians to major points of interest such as the downtown, Bluff Valley Park, Copper Peak, and the Iron Belle Trailhead.

Location maps also are stationed at the Iron Belle Trailhead and at Bluff Valley Park.

Loper, Kryshak and Filippini all are members of the Be Bessemer committee, whose members worked toward the initiative.

Other committee members include Enni and Carl Gregas, Connie Pricco, Bill and Beth Steiger and Terri Triggiano.

The committee was created in early 2017 as the city's branding committee, and members later changed the name.

Loper and Kryshak also credited officials from the Iron Belle Trail Authority and Gogebic County for additional cooperation in realizing the sign project. "It was a regional effort," said Loper.

Loper said the committee now will concentrate on additional concerns revealed by the First Impressions Tourism study.

"We're working on a long list of things," she said, adding that one aim is to encourage local business owners to update their status at online sites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, and others.

In addition, she said city officials continue to work on addressing vacant buildings and hope to attract additional options such as a coffee shop, shopping options, etc.

Kryshak added that city officials are "very open" to anyone interested in starting a business in Bessemer. He reminded that the DDA has a pop-up shop program that provides help, including financial support, for budding entrepreneurs.

The city also expects to address U.S. Hwy. 2 curb appeal during utility and paving projects scheduled for 2021.

Finally, Loper said partial funds from a separate $8,000 WUPPDR marketing grant will be used to update the city's website to highlight more sites of interest that are specific to Bessemer, rather than to the surrounding region.


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