GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As ArtPrize 2023 draws crowds to Grand Rapids, initial data shows the competition is on track to boost the city’s economy like it did last year.
Christian Glupker, an economics professor at Grand Valley State University, said last year, his team tracked 753,000 primary visitors — or people who visited Grand Rapids specifically for ArtPrize.
More than half of those visitors were from outside of Kent County, and they had a total economic impact of $35 million.
This year, ArtPrize looks slightly different. There are fewer artists participating, and this is the first year the city of Grand Rapids, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. and Kendall College are in control of the competition.
But although the GVSU team’s report won’t be complete until mid-November, initial data indicates ArtPrize 2023 will produce similar economic results, according to Glupker.
“Right now, the survey results are coming in — all I have is the raw data,” Glupker said. “It’s coming in consistent with 2022. We really track the non-locals who come in, because that’s new spending, but it’s also the locals who are maybe eating at a new restaurant they haven’t been to before or seen.”
Glupker told News 8 that ArtPrize spending can have a “ripple effect.”
“So if you buy a coffee, that coffee shop now has to buy additional coffee beans because they sold them to you. Some of those are sourced locally, some are not. So economic modeling will capture that purchase from the business. That is indirect spending,” he said. “And induced (spending) is the employees at the coffee shop now have money in their paycheck that they go out and spend. So it’s a ripple. It’s commonly known as a ripple effect or a multiplier effect.”
Past data shows that every dollar spent during the 18-day competition multiplies to around $1.70 or $1.80 in the local economy, according to Glupker.