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Has ArtPrize Made Grand Rapids A ‘Destination City’?

fushtar, flickr

Last week, Crain’s Detroit Business discussed the growth of Grand Rapids.

Crain’s talked about the Medical Mile, Grand Rapids business growth, increased national exposure, and the role that ArtPrize has had in it all.

Has ArtPrize made Grand Rapids a ‘destination city’? 

The effect of ArtPrize on Grand Rapids during the art competition is undeniable.

For three weeks, the city is overtaken with art, visitors, discussion about art, and more.

ArtPrize takes over Grand Rapids each fall, but what is the lasting effect? talks about changed perceptions and how Grand Rapids businesses are using the momentum ArtPrize provides:

Grand Rapids isn’t a flyover anymore.

Thanks in part to events such as ArtPrize, the annual international art competition held every fall since 2009, the city has become what economic developers such as Tim Mroz, vice president of marketing for The Right Place Inc., call “a destination city.”

Those people who are sitting down at restaurant tables are not only ArtPrize tourists.

Jennifer Boezwinkle, vice president of business development at Grand Rapids-based Rockford Construction Co., sees ArtPrize “as a great excuse” to bring clients into the city.

ArtPrize helps to bring attention to all of the amazing things going on in our city right now. It gives those not familiar with Grand Rapids added incentive to visit and explore.

There is no doubt the added attention ArtPrize brings to Grand Rapids helps to create and support growth.  Exactly how much growth is harder to pinpoint.

Is Grand Rapids a ‘destination city’?  During ArtPrize, absolutely.

Outside of ArtPrize?  Looking from the inside out, it’s hard to say.

Perceptions of Grand Rapids from outsiders have been changed for the better and continue to be changed, but there’s always room for improvement and growth.

Do you think Grand Rapids is a ‘destination city’?

How important of a role has ArtPrize played in helping Grand Rapids work towards that goal?

Follow ArtPrize Superfan Matt Milhouse on Facebook and Twitter.  Listen to 100.5 The River weekdays, 10am – 3pm.

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