Developers bring business back to Devil's Lake area - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Developers bring business back to Devil's Lake area

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

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

Developers have been working to bring new life to the area, and they say their hard work is starting to pay off.

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

"A few years ago, there was 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, says he spent a lot of his childhood in the area, but when he came back to visit a few years ago, it wasn't quite how he remembered. Businesses had closed and homes had fallen into disrepair.

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

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

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

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

The community now has businesses, summer homes and activities.

"It's bring people together, so it's a sense of community now," Gajda said. "It's back to the way I remember it as a child."

He says this is just the beginning. Gajda and Malagon have been working with other developers to bring more to the area.

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