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      RV rally helps U.P. economy

      The largest RV club in the country is spending this week in the U.P. The Good Sam Club is a group of over one million RVers from all across the country.

      Michigan's summer Good Sam Rally is being held at the Escanaba fairgrounds, bringing more than 500 people to the area.

      "The whole purpose behind the Good Sam organization is to make it so that we promote family camping, said Good Sam Club International Ambassador Bill Brooks. We want the people to have a good time and a good experience whether traveling on the road or whether at the campgrounds."

      More than 260 RVs were counted at this week's event with the majority of them coming outside of the U.P. which is proving to be a big boost to the local economy.

      People from ten different states as far away as Texas and Florida have come for the event. Linda Michalski is a Good Sam Club member from Ishpeming. She said the rally gives a real boost to the local economy.

      "Everybody's getting exposure, said Michalski. If you go to the National Ski Hall of Fame, some people are going to Pictured Rocks; somebody's already used Marquette General Hospital for illness. So it's a big impact on the area."

      The Good Sam Club also encourages its members to spend locally and travel...a big advantage for host cities like Escanaba.

      "Well, everybody loves the U.P., and with Good Sam, you have a 10 percent discount on a lot of parks when you're traveling, said Good Sam Michigan Director Joseph Halhober. A lot of them are going to stay in the U.P. for a week and travel around, so we stick around the area, too, and help out."

      The rally wraps up on Sunday.