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Experience GR: Take a 'staycation' and support the local hospitality industry



With the hospitality industry decimated by the coronavirus pandemic, one local organization is asking West Michigan residents to take a vacation to Grand Rapids and support a local hotel.


According to the U.S. Travel Association and TravelPulse.com, “the latest Department of Labor national jobs report found that another 61,000 jobs were lost in the Leisure and Hospitality sector last month, signifying lingering pandemic-related stress.”

And nearly 40% if all the U.S. jobs lost since February of 2020 are in the Leisure and Hospitality industry, — triple the number of the next-hardest-hit.

In an effort to help local hospitality businesses, Experience GR is encouraging those with the means to take a staycation at one of the city’s local hotels for two nights--with the idea that people will check in the first night, and then spend the next day eating at local restaurants, cafes or coffee shops, while visiting some of the city’s local attractions like a museum.


Janet Korn is the senior vice president of Experience Grand Rapids. She says that the city’s hospitality industry desperately needs the community’s support as the coronavirus pandemic closes in on the one year anniversary of the initial shutdown.

“We all know we are looking to take a little trip away,” Korn said. “Our hospitality partners have done a tremendous job implementing different types of ways to keep their guests safe, and they are really ready to welcome people back.” 

Hotels are trying to sweeten the deal: Throughout March and April, hotel guests can get 25% off their second night of stay at participating locations. Roughly 10 hotels in Grand Rapids are taking part.