GVSU study: Local economic impact of Meijer Gardens is $75 million

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The entrance to the 2013 ArtPrize exhibit at Frederik Meijer Gardens.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Frederik Meijer Garden and Sculpture Park is not only a staple in the art community, but according to a new study by Grand Valley State University, it is also an economic staple in Kent County.

GVSU economic professors Paul Isely and Christian Glupker analyzed the impact of visitors’ spending outside the venue, the operations of the venue including the amount visitors’ spend on site and construction spending to estimate the venue’s annual economic impact.  The professors took these numbers and quantified its effect on Kent County.

“The result is a lot of new dollars into Kent County,” said Glupker. “This happens because the venue draws 445,000 visitors from outside Kent County and each of these individuals spends more as a result of a visit to Meijer Gardens than a comparable local visitor.”

The overall economic impact on Kent County is estimated to be around $75.5 million, supporting a 804-person workforce.  According to the study, the venue drives visitors to annually spend around $19.6 million at businesses around the county, and on average nonresidents spend an average of $129 at the venue during their visit.

It is reported that average daily spending for meals, shopping, transportation and lodging by visitors increases during ArtPrize with individuals spending roughly $65.62.

“Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park has been embraced and supported by our wonderful community,” said David Hooker, president and CEO of Meijer Gardens. “It is with the community’s support that we can further our unique mission of horticulture and sculpture and bring joy to so many people. The Grand Valley study clearly shows the importance and support of the great cultural community that we have.”






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