Grand Rapids Erases Some Event Debts, But Not for Rob Bliss

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Water Slide Event in 2010 (file photo)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (April 24, 2014) – City leaders in Grand Rapids say they’ve reached an agreement with organizers of two major Grand Rapids events that erases nearly $25,000 owed to the city for police overtime costs.

First Ward Commissioner Walt Gutowski tells FOX17 the city commission agreed to cover $24,669 in debt owed to the city by Celebration on the Grand and Fourth of July fireworks.  Gustowksi says the events are combining into a single event this year.

However, Gutowski says the city is still collecting on more than $11,000 owed for similar costs from other events put together by promoter Rob Bliss.

The original agreement between the city and Bliss had the promoter paying $500 a month to pay off debt owed for events like the Zombie Walk and giant water slide in 2010.  According to the city, the payment that is being made by Bliss now is $200 a month.

bliss zombie walk

Zombie Walk in 2010 (file photo)

Bliss still owes more than $10,000 for the water slide event, and just under $1,000 for the Zombie Walk.

Initially, Bliss owed approximately $20,000 for the water slide event.  He eventually sold the water slide used in the 2010 at auction for around $9,500 dollars.

bliss lip dub image

American Pie Lip Dub Video (file photo)

Bliss is also known for the “American Pie” viral lip dub video that earned national attention in 2011, including features on Inside Edition and The Today Show.

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  • IhaveNoIDEA!

    I think there is value here in these events…Bring people together as a city, bring national attention to GR. There is a cost however. I think the city needs to look at the value….That video would have cost 50+K to produce and advertise. I think they need to do a better job of going, OK, we will do this for X amount, or Free so we don't have debt….I also think public servants like police officers LOVE this city they work in and appreciate things like this…and probably would offer their time for free.

  • Yup

    I don't know why any buisness that hasn't already put up with gr bull shit would come here I've put up with the bastards at town hall meetings and that's even too much time I pity any company coming into the city because I hope your good at jumping thru hoops and bj's.

  • Scherzerfan

    Maybe if his (Bliss) name was DeVos or his ethnicity was anything but caucasion, he would stand a much better change of getting on the "Fogiven Debt" list.