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Old 07-06-2014, 10:15 PM
 
Location: From Michigan. Now in Memphis, TN
130 posts, read 197,618 times
Reputation: 181

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My significant other recently took a job in Manitowoc, and while we won't both be living there together as I have to move to Illinois, I have been there visiting a lot including over the Holiday weekend where I traveled around Manitowoc and also all over northeastern Wisconsin to get an idea of the area (Door County, Washington Island, Sturgeon Bay, all around Lake Winnebago, Appleton, Green Bay, Marinette, among others). Usually I can peg a city pretty well as to how that city sells itself, or defines itself (for example: it's not hard to see that Menasha had an economic bust when the paper industry began to dwindle), but Manitowoc alludes me. I can't figure out how this city defines itself, how it tries to sell itself.

Is it a tourist destination? It doesn't seem to be too touristy.
Is it solidly blue-collar? What industries prevail?
Why does it seem that residential development ceased in the 1970s?

That last one is especially difficult to figure out because for all intents and purposes the residential areas of the city are very well maintained. But where are the new suburbs? This to me would indicate there was an economic bust or at least the economy is stagnant, but there aren't any seriously run down neighborhoods. There's nothing like my hometown of Saginaw, MI which defines economic bust and stagnant economy.

I also can't seem to find any Michigan city that compares. When I have to describe Manitowoc to my Michigander friends, it's easiest to find a comparable city in Michigan they can relate to, but I just can't find one.

So tell me more about how Manitowoc defines itself. What kind of city is it?

Last edited by viktor77; 07-06-2014 at 10:43 PM..
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Old 07-07-2014, 12:31 PM
 
Location: East TX
2,090 posts, read 2,034,738 times
Reputation: 3189
Manitowoc is lost in time. It did not go bust, but has not grown. It just "is". They have low crime, and generally low cost of living compared to larger midwest population bases, but no significant industry to add jobs and spur growth. It is close to state parks and being along Lake Michigan gets a limited number of tourist dollars, but it is not a booming tourist area. (Door County)

I have been to Manitowoc for their summer air show and it is fantastic. Smaller crowds than any other I have been to, with reasonable priced food at stands run by local business or charity groups. I looked at jobs there at one point, but the pay rate was not enough to make me move there.

Best description in my mind is stable but not growing. What you see is what you get and it isn't likely to change any time soon.
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Old 07-09-2014, 05:33 AM
 
Location: Northeast Wisconsin
1 posts, read 1,600 times
Reputation: 10
Manitowoc was an industrial city in the 1920's thru late 80's or so. Huge aluminum mfg and ship building (ships as in Great Lakes ore carriers). Alum mfg either moved or closed, while the ship building div of Manitowoc Co moved to Sturgeon Bay, changed its name to Bay Shipbuilding. Hasn't been an ore carrier built on Great Lakes since 1980. Custom yacht builder - Burger Boat is apparently closed. Was port for coal, hops, and moving rail cars across Lake Michigan until early 1960's(?).

City has been about 33,000 people since 50's & 60's. Population is aging. No real residential growth areas. Nicer homes on north side, i.e north of Waldo Blvd.

Today the largest employer is a hospital org.

The area has some but not much tourist trade. But mostly low impact fishing, boating also thru Two Rivers, and pass-thru vacationers between Chicago and Door County.

Good place to be from. Would be good place to retire to except for Wisconsin weather and taxes...
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:40 AM
 
298 posts, read 602,878 times
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Manitowoc is a lovely place to live and I guess that's a well-kept secret.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Where you aren't
1,245 posts, read 757,692 times
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Manitowoc is alright, it's a pain to drive from one side of town to the other side though, down town is the worst, pedumbstrians are awful too. The electric rate for the city of manitowoc is still under 10 cents a KWH since I moved out here in 2009, while the surrounding areas are 10 cents or higher ( Two rivers, & WPS service areas ).
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Old 07-13-2014, 01:20 PM
 
Location: From Michigan. Now in Memphis, TN
130 posts, read 197,618 times
Reputation: 181
Can anyone think of a Michigan city that roughly equates Manitowoc? I find it interesting that the city is stable but not growing or declining. I can definitely attest to that in my time spent there. I will say though that for being stable it managed to nicely build up the suburban area which from my point of view rivals in quality my own city of Saginaw, MI which is twice the size.
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Old 07-13-2014, 01:59 PM
 
Location: IN
20,852 posts, read 35,964,992 times
Reputation: 13301
Quote:
Originally Posted by viktor77 View Post
Can anyone think of a Michigan city that roughly equates Manitowoc? I find it interesting that the city is stable but not growing or declining. I can definitely attest to that in my time spent there. I will say though that for being stable it managed to nicely build up the suburban area which from my point of view rivals in quality my own city of Saginaw, MI which is twice the size.
I would say a comparable area on a small scale to Michigan would be Iron Mountain, stable population and job growth over a long period of time.
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