Wedding venue owners call on Whitmer to up capacity limit

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Owners of dozens of metro Grand Rapids event venues and the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Monday, asking her to allow higher capacity limits.

Right now, capacity at events like luncheons and weddings is limited to 25 people under the state’s coronavirus mitigation restrictions. The venue owners want to be allowed to operate at 50% capacity, saying their businesses can’t survive on the current limit.

“There is no science used saying you can only have 25 people,” Bing Goei, the owner of the Goei Center in Grand Rapids, said during a press event Monday. “They just arbitrarily told us it’s 25 people.”

“Ninety percent of us get it. It’s time to set rules for the 90% and not the 10% that quite honestly don’t get anything,” Doug Small of Experience Grand Rapids added.

Venue owners asked the state for a quick response, hoping to loosen restrictions in time for wedding season and other summer events that are currently on hold.

The Grand Rapids visitors’ bureau says Grand Rapids businesses have lost more than $200 million in spending because of events being canceled over the past year.

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