Developers bring business back to Devil's Lake area - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Developers bring business back to Devil's Lake area

The new ice cream/coffee shop and real estate office. The new ice cream/coffee shop and real estate office.
MANITOU BEACH, MI (Toledo News Now) -

The Devil's Lake area, apopular vacation spot for people in northwest Ohio, is getting a major upgrade.

Developers have beenworking to bring new life to the area, and they say their hard work is startingto pay off.

Several new businesses havecome to the area recently, and people say they've had a huge impact on thecommunity.

"A few years ago, therewas probably three or four people you'd see all day long walking through here,"said Dave Gajda. "Now there's hundreds on any given day."

Gajda, a developer, sayshe spent a lot of his childhood in the area, but when he came back to visit afew years ago, it wasn't quite how he remembered. Businesses had closed andhomes had fallen into disrepair.

So Gajda teamed up with partnerJose Malagon to turn the area around.

"We started looking aroundto the history of what was here before, and then trying to figure out how tobring some of those activities back," Malagon said.

Together they've re-vampedthe existing bar and grill, brought in new shops and most recently, built astructure to hold an ice cream and coffee shop and a real estate office.

"It's been quite thechange," said Manitou Beach resident Bob Fredeley. "Before, it was just thelittle old bar there, and that's all there was. Now, you've got people walkingdown the streets all the time."

The community now hasbusinesses, summer homes and activities.

"It's bring peopletogether, so it's a sense of community now," Gajda said. "It's back to the wayI remember it as a child."

He says this is just thebeginning. Gajda and Malagon have been working with other developers to bringmore to the area.

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