Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Cabot

What Are The Special Things About The GR Area?

45 posts in this topic

The organization that I work for is putting together a media piece that explains to the rest of the world and ourselves why the Grand Rapids Area is a wonderful place to live.

The premise is an outline of around 50 or so different or unusual things that make our area the place we all love to live. This is a media piece so there needs to be a visual element.

Some examples are the Eames Chair, Red Brick Roads, The Medical Mile, Growing Up (Skyline), The Fish Ladder and Green Buildings.

We are not looking to say the same things other communities do, so no "Great School Systems, Good Quality of Life" every community says this so it sounds like a broken record.

We are looking for things that will spark the interest of people and make them what to know more about the GR area.

I thought this group would have some good ideas, so let me know what you think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


maybe the generosity of the area, I heard somewhere that this area gives more per person (donates) then any other area in the US??

we have the only professional ballet company in the state.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's see...

Fulton Street Farmer's Market on a Saturday morning

Avenue of the Arts Second Saturday events along Division

The view from the top of Fulton hill near sunset

Walking on the Blue Bridge and seeing the skyline change from day to night.

A Jersey Junction pumpkin ice cream cone in the fall.

A currant scone from Wealthy Bakery in the morning with your coffee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What makes Grand Rapids different is its people. Instead of the place making the people it's the other way around. A man by the name of Jim Cannon wrote a book on Gerald Ford called Time and Chance. While in this book, Cannon described Grand Rapids very eloquently as, "-- a place from which a man can journey far and never leave.”

With Ford fresh in America's collective mind, I would think he will do quite well for this media piece. Of course he is gone, but he has left probably many video clips, sound bites, and writings that refer to Grand Rapids.

I'd really like to see any media piece promoting this area start off with that quote. I think it embodies a lot of what this area is about. A part of this media piece could explain what the quote really means about Grand Rapids. You could demonstrate the real reasons why this place is so attractive to people. .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think one thing that Grand Rapids has to offer is affordable homes. One can buy a home here for a fraction of the price elsewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Four seasons with plenty to do during all of them (beaches close in summer, lots of woods/parks to view fall colors, decent skiing/snowboarding a few hours away in winter, festivals in spring).

Variety of entertainment-sports, concerts, ice rinks, bars/clubs, museum, art galleries.

A number of universities in the area.

A blossoming public transit system + Amtrak to Chicago.

Lots of churches, both new and old.

Very affordable, diverse region to live.

...oh, and a shot of 28th street at 5:30PM would be great too...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bicycle trails! We've got the longest linear state park (White Pine) and a variety of other converted rail trails.

Someone was really KIASing on those. I had to move here before I knew anything about them.

Oh, and sunset from the 6th Street bridge, with fisherpeople in the fore/background.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To add to that, we do have a renowned fishing spot right downtown (ranked if I'm not mistaken).

GR was one of the major players in the Arts & Crafts movement (though we didn't have a very impressive movement here).

It's also considered one of the safest areas to live in the country for natural disasters. ;)

Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


In no particular order....

Calder's Stable adorning City Hall and the County Building

St. Mark's Episcopal Church and many of the other interesting looking churches through out the city.

The generosity of the big three families, Devos, Van Andel, and Meijer families as well as others

Friendly yet hard working people

Civic Pride (UP's GR forum speaks for itself)

Preservation of Historic areas namely Heritage Hill

Strong Since of Heritage

Blossoming Modern Architecture

Best of Big city and Small Town all wrapped in a nice neat package

Booming Health Care scene

Economic Hardiness (GR can take a beatin' and still keep on tickin')

Ongoing DT resurgence

Strong Presence of Higher Ed (GVSU, Ferris, MSU, Calvin, Hope, etc.)

Increasing Diversity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#1 We are the second most philanthropic metro-area in the country behind Salt Lake City

SOURCE: Chronicle of Philanthropy

(interestingly enough, as cities go the city of Detroit is #1 in the country for % of discretionary income given to charities)

#2 Meijer Gardens is the 2nd most popular tourist destination in Michigan (if you don't count Lake MIchigan as a single destination...Henry Ford Museum is #1). It's the biggest sculpture collection in the Midwest and it's most definitely unique to Michigan.

SOURcE: http://www.meijergardens.org/media/fact_sheet.php

#3 Beaches - THe only reason "the beach" isn't listed as Michigan's most popular tourist attraction is beaches are listed by city. With Holland and Grand Haven within an hour of downtown GR, I'd say they are part of what makes this area special.

#4 Arts - Someone already mentioned the Ballet company...it's the only one in Michigan. That's a pretty big deal.

=

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
maybe the generosity of the area, I heard somewhere that this area gives more per person (donates) then any other area in the US??

we have the only professional ballet company in the state.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might want to add that Grand Rapids has its own city page on Urban Planet...and Chicago does not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heritage Hill is one of the nation

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Structure/Outdoor art: The Maya Lin-designed "Ecliptic" (Rosa Parks Circle.) Coolest part of the whole space is the 166 fiber-optic lights embedded in the ice rink/amphitheater.

I have to think of more - too bad the largest ball of twine is already taken (twice)!

*fish

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Performing arts at the Civic, DeVos, VanAndel, Forest Hills, etc... I have a few friends that are looking to move from the Nashville area and one of their biggest complaints is that although there are many places to catch a concert, there are very few places to watch quality theatre/ballet/etc.

Professional Sports and nightlife... A friend of mine from North Carolina was up visiting recently, and was surprised to find that GR (esp. DT) has a huge range of bars/restaraunts from dive to diva. Our culinary options are some of the finest in the midwest, and this should be promoted. He was also impressed by the city's professional sports teams (Rampage, Griffins, Whitecaps, etc), and the option we have that many do not of catching a show. game or dinner, then hitting some great hotspots afterwards.

Outdoor recreation opportunities abound... Tout fly-fishing on the Rogue River, tout the beaches of Grand Haven, Saugatuck, and Muskegon, tout the bike trails, canoeing and boating,the golf courses (many!!!), the kayaking, too many to mention here. People want to live in a place where they can get out and do umpteen things in a day

We are looking to get the best of the best here, right? And me, that is young people, especially young professionals. They are the ones that will stay here if they find what they're looking for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The organization that I work for is putting together a media piece that explains to the rest of the world and ourselves why the Grand Rapids Area is a wonderful place to live.

The premise is an outline of around 50 or so different or unusual things that make our area the place we all love to live. This is a media piece so there needs to be a visual element...We are looking for things that will spark the interest of people and make them what to know more about the GR area. ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The intended market is talented individuals who are looking at moving to the area. We have many of the talent based organizations in the region looking for help getting people to come to the area. This would also be intended to change the perception of our area across the globe and here at home.

This is in the planning stages but there is an opportunity for a new website providing information for people looking to move to the area and for people new to the area. Other Media will involve print material, local advertising and video.

More and more our area is beginning to pop up on peoples radar for investment, education and careers. Now the issues is what picture of our community do we paint?

Thank you all for you continued input. Hopefully some of you're suggestions will be incorporated in the project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree with the housing and recreational opportunities.

1) Factually speaking, look at the Housing Opportunity Index and how Grand Rapids compares to other metro areas:

http://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/nah...ty.exclude.html

There are many many professionals fleeing the Northeast to places like Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina because housing, taxes, insurance and cost of living are getting so high. In the Grand Rapids area, I think the median income is $47,000 and the median home price is about $130,000 (?). Even if you moved from New York and took a small pay cut, you'd be way ahead of the game because housing expenses could drop to 30% of your take home pay vs. 50% of take home pay. Plus, low cost housing here doesn't mean it's low quality.

I don't think the housing "opportunity" here gets touted enough. For someone looking to start a business, it an ideal housing environment (most homeowner's largest expense).

2) Recreational opportunities: not only are they in abundance, they are CLOSE. You can load the family in the car or hop on a bike (or scooter) and be on a trail, in a campground, on a lake, on a river, or on a beach in about 25 minutes (or less). You can even be on some fantastic golf courses within 5-10 minutes of anywhere in the metro area. Big Metro Areas like Chicago, Detroit, and even Denver, you have to drive at least an hour or more to get to the "great outdoors".

I'll see if I can think of more cabot. :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The intended market is talented individuals who are looking at moving to the area. We have many of the talent based organizations in the region looking for help getting people to come to the area. This would also be intended to change the perception of our area across the globe and here at home.

This is in the planning stages but there is an opportunity for a new website providing information for people looking to move to the area and for people new to the area. Other Media will involve print material, local advertising and video.

More and more our area is beginning to pop up on peoples radar for investment, education and careers. Now the issues is what picture of our community do we paint?

Thank you all for you continued input. Hopefully some of you're suggestions will be incorporated in the project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My kids are young, but I can say that the programs and opportunities here for the 0-5 set are amazing even outside of the museum/zoo resources. Lots of nice parks, community rec. programs, Bright Beginnings Program, Child Resource Connections. I could go on and on but I won't because I blog about it every day :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The intended market is talented individuals who are looking at moving to the area. We have many of the talent based organizations in the region looking for help getting people to come to the area. This would also be intended to change the perception of our area across the globe and here at home.

This is in the planning stages but there is an opportunity for a new website providing information for people looking to move to the area and for people new to the area. Other Media will involve print material, local advertising and video.

More and more our area is beginning to pop up on peoples radar for investment, education and careers. Now the issues is what picture of our community do we paint?

...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...

What is the status of the Downtown Wireless Internet Project?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, and another thing...enough money and cache to attract a JW Marriott...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.