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Report: 'Beer tourism' has $12M local impact

Beer sampler photo
Wikimedia | Paul Joseph

Kent County ‘beer tourism’ is said to add more than $12 million into the local economy.

That’s according to a recent report commissioned by Experience Grand Rapids.

Gathered report data plus sales data provided by area tap rooms give us the numbers: 42,246 estimated annual local, state and out-of-state visitors, at a $12.23 million county economic impact.

Of those ‘beer tourists’, the report says the majority came from other areas of Michigan. About a third came from out-of-state. 

They stayed on average a bit more than two days at local hotels, bought local food, attended local events and, of course, sampled beer at local breweries.

An average of 3.7 breweries were visited per tourist. 

The study surveyed 458 people at sidewalks in the proximity of area breweries, and at the 2015 Michigan Winter Beer Festival.

A bit more than a quarter of all respondents were from out of town and visiting primarily for ‘beer tourism’. 

Experience GR ties this data into a new promotion - the Beer City Passport - for these traveling, or local, ‘brewsaders’.

You can learn more about that at ExperienceGR.com.

Hilary is a General Assignment and Enterprise reporter for WGVU Public Media. She joined WGVU in September 2014 after several years of experience as a local news reporter, anchor and photojournalist in Midland, Saginaw and Bay counties. She's also worked as a financial and business reporter and audio field producer.
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