Big Bay’s Thunder Bay Inn to offer internet instruction

BIG BAY, Mich. (WLUC) – A project in the Big Bay area could help senior citizens with little knowledge of the internet.

The Thunder Bay Inn is in the process of creating an internet teaching facility. A section of the inn will be used as a computer café where seniors would get free internet and social media training.

Inn co-owner Sue Bevins said internet access is a big need for many in the community.

“We do have fiberoptics run to Big Bay but it’s very expensive to hook it up to your home so I can see that it may not be cost-effective for any family of limited means to be able to do that,” said Sue Bevins.

The inn was able to begin the project after receiving $49,000 from Marquette County’s American Rescue Plan funds. Students from the NMU School of Business are also involved in the project, they will be teaching senior citizens during free drop-in sessions.

“Lots of times older people will mentor younger people but this is an opportunity for some young people to give back and mentor our older generation,” said Sue Bevins.

Co-owner Mark Bevins explained what topics will be taught to seniors.

“One is ascension which is medical appointment making because pretty soon that will all be digital, online bill paying, and zoom so they can get involved with their families abroad,” Mark said.

However, in order to complete the project a lot of work needs to get done.

“We have to order tables, look at flooring, put in a handicap access from the outdoors to that area, a lot of groundwork needs to take place,” Sue said.

Mark said because of the historic nature of the building, it will bring more interest to the project.

“It will inspire folks to be here because it’s cool and they’ll learn in the process,” Mark said.

The project will be completed in September of this year.

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