DDA: Movies in the Park brings revenue to local economy

A short teasing to this year's Movies in the Park. (Courtesy Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. via YouTube - April 27, 2014)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Movies in the Park series attracted thousands of people to downtown Grand Rapids and brought in nearly half a million dollars to the economy.

The Downtown Development Authority released their assessment and analysis of the movie series Wednesday morning.

Officials estimate 19,000 people attended the six movies shown at Ah-Nab-Awen Park over the course of the summer.

Attendees spent an average of $12 downtown at restaurants and other venues for every $1 invested by the DDA to put on the summer movie series.

The DDA found 76 percent of attendees were from the greater Grand Rapids area and 22 percent traveled 30 miles or more to see the free movies, according to surveys they handed out.

Seventy-four percent of attendees arrived in cars, 22 percent biked or walked, while roughly 3 percent used public transportation to get there.

“In total I think we had a great year,” said Kristopher Larson, the President and CEO of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. “Over 19,000 people came to our downtown, and we were able to lever over $400,000 in economic impact.”

The DDA is already working on improvements and selecting the movies for next year.

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