The plans behind Grand Rapids’ first hostel

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.,--It’s a hybrid between a bed and breakfast and a hotel, a hostel and it would be the first of its kind for Grand Rapids.

The visionaries behind it are one step closer to making it a reality after purchasing a house in the Creston Neighborhood, off of Plainfield Avenue.

Cousins, Phil and Mark Bouman’s vision sits in a 150 year old, 5 bedroom Victorian home on Page Street, a house the Calvin graduates recently purchased to turn into a hostel.

The pair who have stayed in hostels around the world say it’s primarily about community, building friendships and experience a new place with new people.

“We not only want to bring the world to Grand Rapids but more importantly showcase the city itself,” Phil said.

The two say they have the support of the Creston Neighborhood Association and assure anyone with concerns that it will be safe, as they will also be living in the home. Though they still do have some hurdles to cross, like having to meet state wide building codes to have the 30 person occupancy they want.

“The issue that we’re running into is that there’s no category for hostels, there’s bed and breakfast, hotel/motel but a hostel is sort of a hybrid,” Phil said.

The pair say from ArtPrize to Laughfest, Grand Rapids continues to grow in its sense of tourism and their plan would not only help to revitalize the neighborhood but attract a new type of traveler to the area they call home.

The Bouman cousins are hoping to open in spring of 2015. There have been other efforts by people to bring a Hostel to Grand Rapids but they ran into funding problems.

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