GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The idea came to Jarl Brey as he gazed at the sunset over the Grand River one night.
"I looked across the river and said how much fun would it be to zip line across that river," said Brey, who along with his partner Jane Timmer plans to set up Zip the Grand.
The 800-foot zip line and elevated rope course would go up along the Grand River somewhere near the Blue Bridge.
Brey says people have liked the idea.
"We mention, 'How would you feel about being able to zip line across the Grand River?' And their eyes light up. They're so excited about the concept," said Brey.
He said he has a few specific sites in mind to buy or lease. Because this is a business venture, he won't get specific until he closes the deal. After that, he'll have to get city approval for everything from safety features to zoning requirements.
But the idea may seem unfeasible.
"That's what they're looking into," said Assistant Grand Rapids City Planning Director Jay Steffen. "I would consider them to be in the conceptual and feasibility stage."
To sum up, Brey still has a lot of 'I's to dot and 'T's to cross. He wants to secure investors and get the project up and running prior to ArtPrize 2013, which starts in September.
Brey said the idea is about more than business. He said it's about "what this is going to do to for downtown Grand Rapids, to reinvigorate the river. We've seen the great things the guys are doing with the Restore the Rapids project."
Grand Rapids has been disappointed before by grandiose plans that never happened. Brey admits his idea could fail -- but at least he'll have tried.
"I never fault anyone for having a big idea," he said.
No public money would be involved in the venture.
Brey predicts Zip the Grand could attract as many as 50,000 customers in the first year.
Vehicles occupied by a sheriff's deputy and a Michigan State Police motor carrier officer were hit.
A fire damaged three garages and some homes in a Grand Haven neighborhood early Thursday morning.
The suspects stole cash and fled the scene.