Downtown GR businesses see boost from ArtPrize 2021

ArtPrize

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Many downtown area businesses are reporting a boost in sales through the end of ArtPrize.

The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce is working to compile data from a survey regarding the event.

Richard App, the retail retention and attraction specialist with the city of Grand Rapids, says initial results are overall very positive.

“What I’ve heard primarily is that everyone is very happy with the return of ArtPrize and the return of commerce that it’s brought with it,” App said.

Final survey results are expected to be available sometime next week.

“I think some of the best things that I’ve heard. People that have had record days,” App said. “Some that have had their best days since back in 2019 or 2018.”

Sparks BBQ Grand Rapids, a new downtown restaurant, says it benefited from having ArtPrize entries on display inside, according to general manager Michael Wheeler.

“Definitely we saw a strong increase from 60 to 70 percent on a day-to-day basis, which is phenomenal for us,” Wheeler said.

News 8 also spoke with Peppino’s Pizzeria and Sports Grille at the beginning of ArtPrize and checked back in with the restaurant as well.

General manager Chris Cutting says the event was a success.

“It was comparable to previous years. We looked at the numbers from two, three, four years ago and it was pretty, pretty on point. It felt really good to see that we’re still seeing that volume downtown,” Cutting said.

The restaurant was not struggling with staffing issues like many others and credits its employees for the success.

“We’re very fortunate that we were OK heading into ArtPrize to be staffed at a level where we were able to operate and provide a good experience. We would continue to like to hire some more employees because we plan to be busy for a while,” Cutting said.

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