State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) introduced House Bill 5541 last week to make it easier for stores in remote rural areas to supply gas to tourists. With the summer tourism season ahead, this legislation is expected to aid travelers looking to explore Michigan’s rural Upper Peninsula, and bring more business to local establishments.

“The Upper Peninsula is truly one of the most beautiful, scenic places on Earth. It is an ideal vacation spot for tourists looking to explore what Mother Nature has to offer, but the remoteness sometimes makes tourism difficult,” said Dianda. “This bill would make it easier for tourists to get the fuel they need to travel, and it will spur economic growth in the areas most difficult to get to.”

Dianda’s bill would allow bars and very small convenience stores in remote areas to supply gas to tourists. Currently, the liquor code establishes a $10,000 inventory limit for businesses that apply to sell gas if they hold a specially designated distributor license. Many establishments in the 110th House District and other remote regions of the U.P. cannot sell gas because they fail to meet the inventory requirement.

“There are some establishments in my district that would like to sell gas to promote tourism, simply because it is not available elsewhere within a convenient distance for travelers,” said Dianda. “To keep people coming to enjoy Northern Michigan’s extensive trails, we need to offer our visitors gasoline.”