Destination Asset Study
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Top Level Findings:
Convention Center & Hotel Opportunities
- Convention center expansion considered for mid-term priority.
- Hotel development with group room block considered in near-term.
- Feasibility study needed to determine project size, potential future business opportunities and correlation between center space and hotel room requirements.
Convention & Arena Authority (CAA), Grand Action, Experience Grand Rapids, City of Grand Rapids, and Kent County
Attracting Professional Sports
- USL Soccer offers potential opportunity to further penetrate the professional sports market.
Local Investment Group, Grand Action, Experience Grand Rapids, and the West Michigan Sports Commission
Enhancing Amateur Sports Offerings
- Consideration for development of field sport complex.
- Recommended complex of 12 – 20 multi-sport fields with lighting and parking.
West Michigan Sports Commission, Experience Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Parks & Recreation, and Kent County Parks
Leveraging the Grand River
- River experience in Grand Rapids can become the focal point for visitors.
- Restoration of river should be aggressively supported and pursued by public sector, foundations and private sector.
- Facilitate convenient visitor access including consideration for River Destination Center.
- Facilitate convenient visitor access and amenities north of downtown.
Grand Rapids Whitewater, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., City of Grand Rapids, Grand Action, Experience Grand Rapids, and The Right Place, Inc.
Outdoor & Adventure Opportunities
- Establish a first class interconnected trail system.
- Develop visitor-friendly set of trail heads.
- Develop unified marketing and mapping for outdoor adventures.
Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc., Grand Rapids Parks & Recreation, Kent County Parks and Experience Grand Rapids.
Downtown Transportation for Visitor
- Evaluate recent changes to DASH and Silver Line.
- Consider distinct visitor circulator route.
- Convenient transportation for visitor river access north of downtown.
Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., Mobile GR and Parking Department, The Rapid and Grand Action.
Destination Awareness, Inclusion and Diversity
- Consider measuring destination awareness and perceived strengths and weaknesses among potential future visitors.
- Marketing efforts expanded to provide emphasis on current and future outdoor recreational assets.
- Consider leveraging local authentic stories focusing on neighborhoods and experiences unique to Grand Rapids.
- Community efforts to support the advancement of minority youth in hospitality industry.
- Support for recruiting and training to grow a more diverse hospitality workforce.