Grand Valley State University researchers have found that during the 2010 ArtPrize roughly 400,000 visitor days generated an estimated economic impact of as much as $7.5 million for the Grand Rapids area.

Students from Grand Valley’s Economic and Hospitality and Tourism Management departments collected data under the supervision of Paul Sicilian, associate professor of economics; Seohee Chang, assistant professor of hospitality and tourism management; and Experience Grand Rapids.

The results showed:
• 50 percent of respondents came from outside Grand Rapids (94 percent were Michigan residents);
• 67 percent of non-locals were day-visitors (did not stay overnight);
• 9.5 percent of non-locals stayed in a hotel/motel or B&B;
• 87.5 percent said that ArtPrize was the primary reason for their trip to Grand Rapids;
• Nearly 44 percent were attending ArtPrize for the first time (did not attend last year).

Results also showed direct spending of:
 • More than $2.8 million on food;
 • About $721,000 on lodging;
 • Nearly $589,000 on transportation;
 • About $684,000 on retail purchases;
 • And about $168,000 on tourism.