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      Meet Confidently in Grand Rapids

      Grand Rapids is Open for Meetings!

      Updated: 6/22/2021

      It’s time to start planning your Grand Rapids event – all remaining COVID-19 limitations were lifted on June 22, per the Recession of Emergency Orders issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

      There are no more state-mandated face mask or social distancing requirements, no capacity or operating-hour limits, and no regulations for either indoor or outdoor events. At this point, any social gathering guidelines will be at the discretion of each hosting venue – and, of course, you are free to set any requirements you wish for your meeting.

      Our tourism and hospitality sectors have spent the last 15+ months preparing for this day, and we are ready to hit the ground running to help you plan a successful event. Reach out to the Experience Grand Rapids sales and service team to get started!

      FAQ

      Following are the most frequently asked questions we’ve been getting from meeting planners. Contact us if your question is not answered here.

      Meetings in Grand Rapids

      What is the current status of holding a meeting or event in Grand Rapids?

      As of June 22, all indoor and outdoor capacity limits are lifted.

      Is/was your convention center operating as a COVID-19 testing facility or field hospital?

      No. DeVos Place Convention Center was used as a vaccine clinic from January 25 through May 21, administering more than 200,000 vaccine doses. The clinic took advantage of the upgrades the convention center implemented during 2020, including new air walls, lighting and other safety technologies that will benefit meetings and events going forward.

      What kind of safety technologies have been implemented by your convention center?

      DeVos Place convention center, managed by ASM Global, has used this downtime to install new air walls, touchless faucets, lighting and other safety technologies. ASM Global has launched a new environmental hygiene protocol, called VenueShield, in response to evolving guest expectations stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

      Can you help help me plan a hybrid meeting?

      The meeting environment is changing rapidly with highly technical hybrid events in demand. We can connect you with our trusted, experienced partners who will help you produce successful hybrid meetings.

      Do your hotels and venues have the capability to livestream or record presentations if I want to host a hybrid event?

      Many of the hotels in Grand Rapids offer this capability to ensure that you can reach virtual attendees in a professional and compelling way. Click here for a look at how we are getting ready to serve you in the future

      Can you help me ease the fears of attendees who are reluctant to attend in-person events?

      Our convention services team would be happy to brainstorm ideas with you. Examples include:

      • Custom promotional microsite
      • Blog posts
      • Updated imagery
      • Digital and printed promotional collateral
      • Videos of outdoor, socially distanced activities.

      Can you help me acquire Personal Protection Equipment for my event attendees?

      Click here for a list of local vendors who can assist you with your PPE needs.

      What socially distanced activities are available for attendees to do in their free time?

      Just a few examples:

      • Social Zones have transformed streets, sidewalks, parks, and parking lots into outdoor marketplaces for dining, drinking, shopping, exercising, and more.
      • Downtown walking tours – guided or self-guided – cover such topics as art, history, and culture. Enter a walking tour in the “Search by name” box on our Events page.
      • Bike, hike, fish, canoe, kayak and visit dozens of parks in the Grand Outdoors – there’s plenty of space to social distance.
      • 30+ excellent golf courses within 30 minutes of downtown are open for socially distanced business.
      • Both Lake Michigan beaches and inland beaches like Millennium ParkMyers Lake, and Wabasis Lake are open.

      Who do I contact with additional questions and/or concerns?

      The Experience Grand Rapids sales and services team is happy to assist you with any questions you may have regarding your upcoming event.

      Grand Rapids Travel Updates

      What is the vaccination rate for Grand Rapids/Kent County?

      58.5% of local residents over the age of 16 were fully vaccinated and 62.7% had received at least on shot as of June 21. You can check the progress of local vaccination rates at the West Michigan Vaccine Dashboard. Just click on Kent in the second table.

      Are masks required in Grand Rapids?

      No, all mask mandates have expired.

      View More Details

      Is it safe to travel to Grand Rapids during the COVID-19 pandemic?

      As of June 21, COVID-19 cases in Michigan were the lowest they have been since March 2020. The positive test rate was well under 3%, the threshold set by MDHHS to arrest community spread of the virus. Almost 60% of local residents over the age of 16 were fully vaccinated on that date. You can check this dashboard for continually updated vaccination numbers. In addition, the state estimates that 24% of Michiganders have acquired natural immunity to COVID-19.

      Even as state restrictions for social gatherings have been lifted, Grand Rapids continues to follow many of the cleaning and sanitation protocols established during the pandemic. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport, for example, was the first airport in Michigan to earn Global Biorisk Advisory Council™ STAR™ Facility Accreditation status from the ISSA – the worldwide cleaning industry association – and the airport continues to conform to accreditation standards.

      In addition to these airport safety measures, the airlines serving GRR have instituted their own health and sanitation procedures. Please check airline websites for details.

      Local airport officials and other entities serving the public continue to work closely with county, state and federal emergency management, public health, and organizational partners to monitor the impacts of COVID-19.

      Are there any restrictions regarding travel to Grand Rapids?

      Currently, there are no restrictions on travel within the domestic U.S. Information on international travel can be found on the U.S. Department of State website.

      How do I travel to Grand Rapids?

      Fly: The Gerald R. Ford International Airport is served by six airlines offering nonstop flights to/from more than 30 major market destinations. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport has earned the Global Biorisk Advisory Council™ STAR™ Facility Accreditation status from the ISSA — the worldwide cleaning industry association — becoming the first airport in Michigan to do so.

      Drive: Grand Rapids is within a few hours’ drive of Michigan’s major population areas and many of the Midwest’s largest cities:

      • Lansing: 68 miles
      • Ann Arbor: 132 miles
      • Traverse City: 142 miles
      • Detroit: 154 miles
      • Chicago: 175 miles
      • Indianapolis: 290 miles
      • Milwaukee: 264 miles
      • St. Louis: 442 miles

      Train: Amtrak provides daily rail service between Chicago and Grand Rapids and is operating during COVID-19.

      Public Transportation: One of the nation's best public transportation systems offers several free routes throughout downtown Grand Rapids.

      Ride Share: Lyft, Uber, Steady Fare, and taxi service are among the options for getting a ride. All have implemented their own health and safety procedures in response to COVID-19

      What safety guidelines are restaurants following?

      During the pandemic, the Kent County Health Department developed very specific health and safety guidelines for food service businesses to follow, building on advice and input from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Restaurant Association, Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association, and West Michigan COVID-19 Business Coalition. Many restaurants continue to follow these cleaning and sanitizing guidelines.

      Where can I find the latest travel updates for Grand Rapids and the U.S.?

      Check these websites for the latest information:

      What's Open in Grand Rapids

      What is open for business in Grand Rapids?

      Virtually everything, without restriction.

      Are Grand Rapids hotels open?

      Hotels (and bed & breakfasts) are open and ready to serve guests. Please check with the hotel for the availability of specific amenities, including meeting space. A safe guest experience is a top priority, and best practices for cleaning and sanitation are being implemented to minimize the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Contact the hotel directly for a list of specific sanitation and cleaning procedures.

      Are restaurants open for dining?

      Restaurantsbreweriesdistilleriescideries and coffeehouses and other food & drink establishments are allowed to operate at 100% of indoor occupancy limits. Social distancing is not required and there is no limit on the number of people at a table. Bar service, dancing and mingling with other parties is permitted. Many restaurants offer outdoor dining and carryout/delivery service. We advise you to check with an establishment directly to confirm hours of operation, reservation requirements, takeout services and outdoor dining availability.

      View More Details

      Do restaurants offer carryout and delivery options?

      Yes. Many eateries expanded their takeout operations when in-person dining was restricted, and they continue to offer this service as a convenience to customers. Search our carryout/delivery listings for restaurants throughout the region.

      Are Grand Rapids attractions open for visitors?

      All major attractions are currently open except for the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, which is subject to the policies of the National Archives and Records Administration, and is yet to announce a reopening date. Some attractions continue to implement safety measures such as face masks, advance ticket purchase and reduced operating hours (to allow deep cleaning). Check individual websites for policies.

      View More Details

      What is the shopping situation in Grand Rapids?

      All retail stores can now operate at 100% customer capacity. All malls are open, as are most national stand-alone retailers and local shops. Search our retail listings by merchandise category and neighborhood, and check with individual stores to confirm hours. 

      View More Details

      Be assured that the health and safety of meeting and convention attendees remains a paramount concern. We continue to track state and federal COVID-19 updates, and can work with you to plan the safest possible event. Please check our travel updates for additional visitor tips and safety guidelines. Together, we can ensure that you can travel confidently.

      The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice - nor does it represent the official perspective of any of the organizations listed above; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.

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      Dream Grand and Go

      We invite you to Dream Grand with us! We miss all of you and want you to dream about your future visit to the Grand Rapids area. Share memories and photos with us on social channels of your favorite experiences in the Grand Rapids area to inspire travel when you're ready to go. Tag #DreamGrand on social for us to see and reshare!

      Get Inspired: Your Future Visit Awaits

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