GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - In 2013, ArtPrize brought in $22 million to the local economy, attracted more than 380,400 attendees and created 253 jobs. That is according to a study by Anderson Economic Group, based in East Lansing.
Experience Grand Rapids released the numbers today. President, Doug Small says, "ArtPrize has proven to be an overwhelming success for Grand Rapids and has helped to significantly elevate our profile nationally as an arts destination."
Small says Greater-Grand Rapids has been recognized as the top destination to visit in 2014 by Lonely Planet. And, CNN profiled ArtPrize as a "must-see" event during its "50 States, 50 Spots for 2014" coverage.
The 2013 looked at event attendance, attendee spending, local spending by the ArtPrize organization and overall economic impact of the event.
For example, ridership of The Rapid, Grand Rapids' public bussing system, increased to 158,000 rides, a 58 percent increase over 2012.
In 2013, ArtPrize attendance was up 20% from the estimated 322,000 people who attended in 2011.
More than half of the people who attended the event said they shopped locally and visited farmers' markets, as well as took part in outdoor recreation.
"In just 5 years, ArtPrize has become a cornerstone event for the Grand Rapids economy and Michigan's leading cultural experience," said Scott D. Watkins, director of market and industry analysis at AEG. "$22.2 million in new economic activity and 253 jobs supported by ArtPrize are impressive figures, but the event's greater value lies in its annual nature, still growing appeal and the positive exposure that it brings the city and the state."