Downtown businesses finishing final preps for ArtPrize 2014

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The world’s largest art competion has business owners in downtown Grand Rapids busy preparing for all the extra customers.

ArtPrize 2014 will feature over 1,500 entries and will give away more than $500,000 in prizes.

Business owners in downtown Grand Rapids said that it mostly comes down to weather. If the skies are clear, the turnout will be massive.

Mark Sellers runs a bunch of downtown Grand Rapids bars, including HopCat and The Grand Rapids Brewing Company. Sellers said that starting Wednesday, it’s all hands on deck for the next three weeks. With more money in everyone’s pocket, Sellers said that his staff is busy prepping and making sure they don’t run out of anything.

"We have a semi truck parked, a refrigerated semi. So we essentially have a second walk-in cooler," said Sellers.

Just up the street at L’ amoureuse Boutique, Olga Benoit is getting ready for her first year of ArtPrize in her new downtown location.

"Everybody wants to use my window. I have different people coming, 'Can I use your window? I'll give you a $100,'" said Benoit.

Whether they offer a nice cold brew or a one of a kind gown, these business owners said that they are ready to welcome art lovers from far and wide.

"Just everyday is busy. It's almost every day is like a normal Saturday starting this Wednesday, the first day," said Sellers.

Both business owners also said that they will be extending their hours to accommodate the extra foot traffic downtown.



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