Kalamazoo rolls out free Wi-Fi at Bronson Park

Bronson Park in downtown Kalamazoo on Tuesday, May 9, 2017.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Visitors to Kalamazoo’s Bronson Park no longer need to pay to connect to the internet.

The park officially rolled out its free Wi-Fi service at noon on Friday.

Mayor Bobby Hopewell said the upgrade is an important step for Kalamazoo.

“Access to information, individuals being able to actively access the web and the internet, really helps in regards to moving a community, it helps us create a great place,” Hopewell said during the noon ceremony.

Event organizers say Wi-Fi will allow vendors to more easily process credit cards and concertgoers to share their experiences quicker on social media.

“We know information drives so much in our society and our communities and right here in Bronson Park. This one gigabyte opportunity to get onto the web will allow so many individuals to access during our events, during any activity that’s going on in the park,” Hopewell added.

Bronson Park’s Wi-Fi service is part of a pilot project. The city hopes to expand the service to other locations in the future.

“This is just part of the work that we’re doing and stay tuned. Probably over the next three, four, five, six, seven weeks we got some other major announcements of things that are happening in our community,” said Hopewell.

Wireless internet access was among the amenities that made the wish list during the Bronson Park master planning process that happened in 2015. The Bronson Park 21st Century campaign also calls for more trees, a structure for events that may be raised and lowered, better sound and lighting, and restoring the Fountain of the Pioneers.

In May of this year, the city received a $100,000 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation to install an information kiosk for visitors at Bronson Park.

WOOD TV8 recently opened a new studio in the Comerica Building in downtown Kalamazoo. It features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Bronson Park.