Why Elk Rapids?
Home to 5,136 residents, Elk Rapids has maintained a steady population since 2010. Elk Rapids has a highly educated population: over half of residents over the age of 25 hold a degree, compared to 37% in Antrim County. While many seniors call this community home (31% of residents are over the age of 65), 14% of residents are under the age of 15 and enjoying their education at Lakeland Elementary, Elk Rapids Cherryland Middle School, or Elk Rapids High, and another 9% are aged 15 to 24 and getting ready to enter the workforce. 46% of the population is working age (25 to 64 years old). *Evaluating Redevelopment Ready Community status.
There are 3,834 housing units in Elk Rapids, 37.5% of which are seasonal housing units that serve our robust tourism industries near the shores of Lake Michigan. Additionally, homeownership in Elk Rapids is high, with 80% of occupied units owned by their residents. The median home value in Elk Rapids is $234,000, significantly exceeding the median home value for Antrim County overall ($157,600).
Antrim County provides 5,400 jobs, 20% of which are in the Manufacturing industry. An additional 29% are concentrated in tourism-focused industries, like Accommodation & Food Services and Retail Trade. The median annual household income in Elk Rapids is $63,200, compared with Antrim County’s median at $52,589. Major employers include the Antrim County Airport, Elks Rapids Public Schools, and independent food and beverage companies like Burnett Foods, Ethanology Distillery, and Short’s Brewing.
Bask on the shores of Lake Michigan at the Elk Rapids Sandbar and Day Parks, or enjoy a day of boating from the harbor or our many marinas. The art lover will want to visit the Twisted Fish Art Gallery or stroll through the Walk of Art Sculpture Park on the south end of town. Retail enthusiasts can shop stores like the Elk Rapids Antique Market and the Stonehedge Gallery Consignment Shop. And history buffs will delight in historic landmarks like the Hough's House Historic Building and Elk Rapids Area Historical Museum.
The Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA), established in 1984, is a public/private non-profit organization serving Antrim, Charlevoix, and Cheboygan Counties in Northern Michigan. The NLEA works directly with local units of government on infrastructure projects, facilitates local company growth and expansion, and assists many local companies on a wide range of issues that help retain existing jobs and create new jobs.
- David Emmel, President—(231) 582-6482
Business service: 1-800-805-0490
Natural Gas Provider:
Business service: 1-855-383-4249
Cherry Capital Connection
Business Service: 1-877-219-3898
Village of Elk Rapids
Recent Private Investments
Recent Public Works Projects
Featured Talent Development Resources
With manufacturing as Antrim County’s lead industry, area employers can count on Northwestern Michigan College to train students in a variety of manufacturing skills. Rather than focus on a singular area of study, NMC’s Manufacturing Technology program allows students to build their own course of study around their career of interest, such as welding, machining, or advanced manufacturing. Advisors work with students to ensure their courses prepare them for jobs in their area of manufacturing focus.
Economic Development Ecosystem Map
This map shows some of the many organizations in this county providing economic development related services, such as workforce training, development finance, or technical advising for businesses. Use the dropdown in the upper left hand corner to filter by People, Investment, and Place.
“People” covers organizations that focus on early childhood care, workforce training, equity and diversity, and talent recruitment and retention.
“Investment” includes organizations that focus on industry cluster support, small business investment and technical assistance, innovation and technology development, and real estate and commercial development.
“Place”-focused organizations include tourism, arts and culture, and recreation organizations, planning and development entities, infrastructure and utility providers, and housing organizations.
President, Northern Lakes Economic Alliance