Morning Buzz: Frederik Meijer Gardens has big impact on economy

1. In 100 days, Grand Rapids will become the first city in Michigan to ever host the State Games of America.

The Olympic-style event in August will feature 12,000 athletes from 50 states plus Canada.

Organizers expect the four-day event to generate $10 million to the local economy.

So far more than 5,000 hotel rooms have been booked from Kalamazoo to Big Rapids.

The State Games of America will feature a total of 60 events in 48 sports. The opening ceremony will kick off the games at Van Andel Arena on August 4.

 

2. A new study reveals the economic impact Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park has on Kent County.

Two Grand Valley State University professors looked at spending inside and outside the venue, and found the gardens support more than $75 million in spending, and more than 800 jobs.

Every year, visitors spend more than $19.5 million at businesses in and outside the venue.

The gardens also attract more than 440,000 people from outside the county and non-residents spend an average of $129 at the gardens.

 

3. The summer concert series at the garden is coming this summer, and members will be able to buy tickets on Saturday.

There will be 30 performances at the outdoor amphitheater, including Sheryl Crow, the Barenaked Ladies, Huey Lewis, and many others.

Members can start buying tickets on Saturday starting at 9 a.m.

Ticket sales open to the public on May 13. Click here for a list of the full line-up.

 

4. A local girl is trotting her way to one of the most prestigious and celebrated competitive horse shows.

Lily, a student at Lakeshore Middle School in Grand Haven, and her horse, Casino, are headed to the U.S. Pony Finals.

She went up against the number one pony in the country to qualify for the finals.

After weeks of riding every day, she and her horse landed in Wilmington, Ohio for the World Equestrian Center Show where she grabbed one of those spots.

Lily and Casino will head to the U.S. Pony Finals in August.

 

5. The Ford Mustang is once again the most purchased sports car on the planet.

According to a new analysis from Ford, the iconic car was the best-selling sports car in the world in 2016.

The company says it is thanks to growth in international markets, seeing a six percent increase in global sales over the previous year.

It keeps the streak alive as the Mustang has already been the most popular sports car in the U.S. for the last 50 years.

It’s also the most-liked vehicle on Facebook, with nearly 8.5 million likes.

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