GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - With less than two weeks to go until the largest art competition in the world begins, businesses across Grand Rapids are preparing for the massive crowds.
"We have hired some extra staff for it. We have done a lot of extensive training, stream-lined some menu options for people so it's quicker, and ready to go on the spot," said Shawn Blonk, general manager of Grand Rapids Brewing Company.
This will GRBS's first ArtPrize being open, and the brewery expects to be swamped all day, every day.
"This is what we work up to all year. Once we got through our grand opening, it's been ArtPrize talk since then," said Blonk.
Every business 24 Hour News 8 spoke with had made plans to cope with the added customers during the 19-day event.
Kilwins, on Monroe Center, said it will be ready with freshly made fudge, ice cream, caramel apples and chocolate-covered pretzels, among its other products.
"We're prepared. We have our new fall flavors, we've got all our popular flavors. For those coming down to ArtPrize, I just want to say we are stocked and ready," said Julian Rochelle, a fudge specialist at Kilwins.
This will be Kilwins' second ArtPrize, and the company took something away from last year's event. It has added about 10 new workers, and extended its hours.
"It will be busy all day long. We will be going 9 a.m. to 11 p.m." said Rochelle.
Both Rochelle from Kilwins and Blonk from Grand Rapids Brewing Company said their staffs are ready and have been prepped for the added hours and business.
ArtPrize is Sept. 18 through Oct. 6.
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