Zip Line Proposed For Downtown GR

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A zip line could be coming to downtown Grand Rapids.

Creators Jarl Brey and Jane Timmer want to build an 800-foot long zip line, called Zip the Grand, across the Grand River.

Zip the Grand would be located near the “Blue Bridge.” On each side of the zip line will be a 75-foot tower. It would also include an elevated rope course.

If completed, Brey and Timmer said the commercial venture will attract schools, tourists, corporate events and other visitors.

The duo will be getting some help from the industry leader in zip lines and rope courses, who happens to live two blocks away from the proposed downtown site.

Zip the Grand needs some approval from the city, but if everything goes as planned, they hope to have the zip line up by this fall for ArtPrize.

Check out Zip the Grand’s Facebook page HERE.

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  • Reloader

    This makes a lot more sense than white water kayaking. I say " Good Idea !! " "Bout time someone used there heads and came up with something that will add to our city rather than mess it up.

  • Don

    Where is the proof people will come use the thing. The locals will try it once and the novelty will wear off and in 10 years it will not even be in use. A really stupid idea I think. Will any of my tax dollars go toward this?

    • Jim Liggett

      Don, these are going up all over and the numbers show no slow age of use after 4 years of course here is a ropes course too when it stops making money is great scrap steel:-). No tax dollars only jobs and fun :-).

  • Brian

    After the first year I see the "Thrill of a new thing" wearing off.. And quickly, Then were stuck with this 75 foot tower downtown next to the river looking real stupid.. Come on people ! You really think this is going to that popular and generate enough money to have several people working every day after the novelty wears off in two months ? Its ridiculous.

    • Jim liggett

      Nope your wrong it will take 5-7 years for novelty to wear off and then take it down had have great memories:-) numbers are good and he ropes course offers fun for ages 2 to 90 but I understand if your scared you don't have to do it

      • Chris

        First off, Jim: the word "you're." Learn it, use it, love it. If you're going to insult someone ("but I understand if your scared you don't have to do it"), use grammar at above a 5th grade level.

        Second, do you have any source whatsoever that says when the novelty will wear off ("Nope your wrong it will take 5-7 years for novelty to wear off")? Brian says he sees it wearing off after the first year, presenting it as his opinion, so how is he wrong? Sure, you may see the novelty for it lasting 5-7 years instead, but this is clearly opinion on both your parts, so stop trying to present your beliefs as absolute fact, you blithering idiot.

        • Doug

          1st) Chris, if you're going to be the grammar police, please also correct the original poster for his incorrect usage of "were" instead of the correct "we're". Thank you.

          2nd) Jim, the "blithering idiot", is indeed part of this, if I remember correctly. I, however, am not, and I have been 'round the country and seen a few of these in interesting locales where the "novelty" of them has NOT worn off. I don't believe that his, nor Mr. Brey's, nor Ms. Timmer's dreams are unrealistic at all. From what I can see of the plans, what they are proposing is not going to make a significant impact as far as a footprint on the downtown riverscape. Two towers with a zipline suspended between them. If, and when, the novelty wears off, I'm sure they can be dismantled and removed much more easily than some of the blighted buildings lining the river downstream. And since your tax dollars are not going towards it, and it will only contribute to the vibrancy and fun that is increasing in our wonderful downtown, why in the world are you so negative about this? If you don't like the idea, don't go. As for me, I plan on being one of the first in line, I'm going across the river SUPERMAN style, if they'll let me.

          • Jorja

            Doug is correct, ropes courses / zip lines do extremely well. It'll be great for our community, boost our economy. AND……What's wrong w a little change.

        • jim liggett

          brian I have been building these for 30 years and am currently doing a large project for Disney maybe they too can believe their unrealistic dreams. :-) I think you need a big hug.

          Come see me when we are under construction and ill oblige.


          Chris im fine with being a blithering idiot . enough said

  • JLDorsey

    Wow, so this is the outcome of the meeting on stopping community violence at Messiah Church last week?? I'm trying to make this make sense.

  • Eric

    Wow, gotta love people who know so much they just crap on any idea…I think it's a great idea. Given the amount of convention traffic, and all the other events that take place downtown it could be a really nice addition to a great city!

    Will it be there in 10-years? Who cares? Is that the criteria that is needed?

  • Nick

    The “fun factor” isn’t going to wear off. You could say the same thing about any other public attraction in GR, but people and their kids still go back and ride the carousel in the museum don’t they? Plus, every year at Artprize the line for this thing is going to be down the block. Great idea!

  • mrpatulski

    I am not sure having the equivalent of two, 6 story buildings built south of the blue bridge is the best use of limited public space downtown.

  • agase

    Will it be handicap accessible? Will it be overseen by some governmental group for safety conditions? Will the metal structure be maintained to avoid a rusty disheveled appearance? Will there be parking nearby for access for out-of-towners? Can it designed to be more architecturally appealing? It looks like construction scaffolding, not an entertainment/sports venue. Sticks out like a sore thumb.

    • Shawn

      Thank for asking some great questions.

      Accessibility to the course site will be available to anyone regardless of physical condition. Whether someone can or should go on the course would depend on the person and their own abilities. This would be true of most attractions though. Someone with back problems, has had recent surgery or is pregnant for example should not go on a ropes course or any other attraction for that matter.

      Safety is something Ropes Courses takes very seriously. The actual course system, harnesses and sling lines, operator training, course inspections, etc all have safety features integrated. The components are continually tested and evaluated to meet the highest standards. Regular inspections (both daily and annually) are routine in operating one of our courses.

      Our courses are also engineered to withstand the elements and a significant consideration in the whole design process. Maintenance will be needed just like you would need to maintain your home or vehicle. However with routine inspections, this is much easier to keep up with.

      The color and theme of a course has endless options. Some courses are designed to attract, such as theme parks and family entertainment centers. Others, need to blend in to the natural surroundings, for example zoos, parks and botanical gardens. This will be one of the topics for ongoing discussions with the city along with parking and accessibility.

      It will catch your eye though since it will be new and different from what is there now. Keep in mind that this was also true for many structures in Grand Rapids when first introduced. Grand Rapids is a growing and vibrant city that is constantly thinking of new ways to enhance, engage, invite and celebrate all it has to offer. This is no different.

      Let the organizers of this project know your thoughts and concerns so that they can be addressed and taken into consideration during the planning phases. In the meantime, visit our website to learn more about our courses for yourself.