Consultant introduces Sandusky to Chinese investors

A campaign to spur international business in Toledo has brought Sandusky to the attention of Chinese businessmen.
Melissa Topey
Feb 10, 2013

Simon Guo, president and founder of the consulting company Five Lakes Global Group, spoke Thursday before the Sandusky Rotary club.

Guo is known for his recent work fostering relationships between China and Toledo, efforts that have already seen Chinese businessmen purchase a few hotels and homes in the Toledo area.

Guo said he sees no reason why this shouldn't happen in Sandusky.

Randy Hunt, a local investment banker and Sandusky Rotary member, has fostered a solid business relationship with Guo.

“As I talked to Simon and his interest in Toledo and the Maumee River, it came immediately to my mind that the Maumee is nice, but the lake is superior,” Hunt said. “I told him if they liked the water so much, that Sandusky being on the lake is wonderful.”

Hunt has already brought three tours of about 50 Chinese businessmen to Sandusky.

“They were in Toledo and had visited as far as Marblehead," Hunt said. "It  was simply a matter of me saying, 'Why don't you drive another 20 minutes?'"

And so they did. Hunt was their tour guide, showing them around Sandusky and its great draws, including Kalahari Resort, the Chaussee and Cedar Point.

“Now we are a destination spot. They call me when they're in the area,” Hunt said.

Said Guo: “They were all very impressed."

Guo spoke to the chamber about his plan to lure tourists, how he'll trumpet the beauty of the water, the resorts and the fun of Cedar Point — everything tourism-related.

“This year we're planning to do a tourism conference,” Guo said.

The strategy: start with something that makes the area unique. In Sandusky's case, that's the lake, the islands and the many parks and resorts.

“Toledo is the rising hub of international logistics," Guo said. "I believe Sandusky can be the hub for tourists."

In time, manufacturing and technology businesses would follow. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome: the cultural gap between business leaders from two countries.

But that's sort of Guo's specialty. He has the connections to help people overcome the cultural divides, and he has connections with business owners in clubs in China, called CEO clubs.

“If we can get the word out, people are going to come,” Guo said.

That would bring in money, all without the smoke and pollutants of industry, he said.

Five Lakes Global also helps American businessman sell their products in China, a market that craves all things American, Guo said.

“That money comes back to the United States,” he said.


Rod Farva

Maybe they will buy the register and employ some real reporters ...

looking around

Heard they like roller coasters.


The Chinese have been buyin' stakes in U.S. firms. Cedar Fair would more than likely appreciate the cash.


Oh, I just LOVE hearing all the bellyaching and soul crying foul for the poor Americans. Yes! Poor Americans. Just listen to yourselves. You did this to YOU! No one did it to you. Not the Japanese and not the Chinese and not the Mexicans. Not by a long shot. Is the truth too hard to hear or does it just get stuck in your gullets so much it chokes you? You guys with your belly aching of the rest of the world taking your jobs? You did this because you refused to work for less than $18 per hour. Your unions did this to the companies that stopped productions and the companies picked up and moved to countries without that problem. NOW those countries work our of places that workers work for $2 per hour without union problems while you guys have no jobs or work for minimum wage because your greed and your unions put you there.

Rather than take responsibility for it, you blame the Chinese, the Japanese and the rest who have money. It's a lie and you know it. Now they have the money like we used to. We used to go to their countries and buy up land, build industires and do what they do now. Their people felt then just like we do now. The shoe is know on the other foot and we cry and complain just as they did. How do we like it???? We don't. So what do we do know? We either take it with dignity or we go hungry. I say we take it with they didn't.

Lets take the offer with LIMITS. They didn't think of that and it cost them dearly. Lets be smarter. Lets take their offer and be much smarter. Let's take the chance for money coming in be set limits and standards to protect our water and our way of life. They ever did. We will. Then we can't go wrong. If they say no to that, we are no worse off than before. If they say yes, then we are winning.

But do not turn your noses up like a bunch of spoiled brats when we need money in this town. Visitors aren't going to last us forever. Not all of us. Grow up....face facts. For once, face facts


@ wiredmama222:

Looks like you pegged it pretty good!

The Big Dog's back

wired, this wasn't the union's fault, nor the Chinese, nor the Japanese. It was the greedy rich white man who went searching for slave labor.