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Arts & Life

ArtPrize 2011 pumps $15.4 million into Grand Rapids’ economy

Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
Families take pictures in front of "Rusty" near the Grand Rapids Public Museum during ArtPrize 2011. Voters picked Rusty as number 5 in the top ten.

A report released today by the Anderson Economic Group say this year’s ArtPrize added $15.4 million to the Grand Rapids economy. That estimate is twice the economic impact measured in each of the first two years. 2011 was the third annual ArtPrize. In each of the first two years economists at Grand Valley State University estimated it pumped more than $7 million into the local economy. (GVSU economists always told me their estimates were on the conservative side.)

The report shows more than 320,000 people visited Grand Rapids during the 19-day-long event. Visitors spent an average of $30 a day.

Janet Korn is with Experience Grand Rapids, the visitors and convention bureau for Kent County. Korn says the best part is the vast majority of people enjoyed themselves.  Ninety-eight percent of survey respondents said that they were just as or more likely to return to Grand Rapids for another visit. “That’s huge,” Korn said, “That’s the opportunity that we’re going to leverage.”

This year’s study shows ArtPrize created about 200 temporary jobs.  

Experience Grand Rapids, The Right Place, and WKK Fund of Grand Haven Area Community Foundation paid for the study.

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