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      Noquemanon Trail Network hub for silent sports

      The Noquemanon Trail Network started with the Ore the Shore Mountain Bike Epic 14 years ago. Since then, the non-profit has evolved into a hub providing several events for silent sports during the summer.

      "I think there are so many things that we can do here in the Marquette area to bring visitors, include our own community members, and certainly bring some variety to our town," said Laurie Neldberg-Weesen, NTN President.

      They offer four different events in August including the Marquette Trail 50 and Marquette Marathon. Now they're offering two new events: the Xterra and Enduro. Both happening in September, the Xterra is a triathlon and the Enduro is for speed lovers.

      Over the years their events have become so popular, thousands of people come to participate, booking up hundreds of hotel rooms locally.

      "We do have 112 rooms here at the Ramada, and I also own the Holiday and Hampton with my brother. We do very well at all three properties. I also know, being on the board of the visitors bureau, that the town does very well," said Randy Larson, Ramada co-owner.

      Just this year, around 2,500 people participated with the Ore to Shore. Officials say about 75 percent are from the Midwest and end up staying for the entire weekend with their family.

      "While they buy hotel rooms, I'm sure the bike shops are busy. Certainly the restaurants have gotten busy. They're buying retail; they're buying gas. That spending just spirals down to everybody in the county," said Pat Black, Director of Marquette Country Convention Visitors Bureau. Black says each family will spend around $500 during their stay which funnels millions into our local economy.

      When they're here, they're experiencing everything Marquette has to offer and end up coming back each year.