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West Olive based inventor named '2023 Lakeshore Innovator of the Year' after help from her now departed father

GVSU Muskegon Innovation Hub

Lisa Spaugh's 'EZ Beach Steps' gives lakefront property owners ability to adjust stairs as shoreline fluctuates

A West Michigan based inventor is being recognized for her solution to accessing beachfront property on Lake Michigan.

Lisa Spaugh, who lives in West Olive, has been named the 2023 Lakeshore Innovator of the Year for coming up with "EZ Beach Steps."

The new concept is essentially a set of adjustable stairs that can be transported or moved by homeowners with lakefront property who have to consistently battle the ever-changing shoreline caused by erosion and fluctuating water levels.

Spaugh explains how she came up with the concept.

“Back in November of 2019 the (lake) washed away my stairs and deck on the beach in a wild storm,” Spaugh said. "And it has been difficult to get to the beach ever since, not only for me but for everyone."

"I looked at all the options, and knew there was a better way."

Presented by Grand Valley State University’s Muskegon Innovation Hub, Spaugh says, winning the title of Lakeshore Innovator of the Year was emotionally overwhelming, as she and her father originally finalized the plans for EZ Beach Steps together.

“My father sadly passed away in November,” Spaugh said. "So (the honor) means everything to me, and I am grateful.”

Meanwhile, the business is catching attention beyond the Lakeshore, having sold the stairs to buyers in Washington, Ohio and Minnesota as well.