By Chad D. Lerch | M&C
GRAND RAPIDS — West Michigan is capturing its share of the $6 billion national youth and amateur sports tourism bounty, with thousands of gifted athletes converging on the region for competitions.
ESPN or Fox Sports might not be following their every move, but behind every youth or amateur athlete is a traveling posse with cash to spend — pumping millions into local hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions every time they come to town.
By Brian VanOchten | The Grand Rapids Press
ALLENDALE -- The image of a helicopter lifting off and fading into the distance to rush his daughter’s heart to a transplant recipient remains frozen in the mind of local sports marketing executive Bill Ryan.
He has a deep sense of pride in recalling that moment.
Sports tourism could bring as much as $1 million in direct spending to
Greater Grand Rapids August 26-28, 2011
By Garret Ellison | The Grand Rapids Press
ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP — An Olympic-style sporting festival comprised of athletes who have undergone life-saving transplant surgeries will take place in West Michigan next summer after a local group saved the event from cancellation.
The West Michigan Sports Commission scheduled a press conference Tuesday morning to formally announce its organization of the Transplant Games of America, a national version of the world tournament designed to promote organ donation.
By Howard Meyerson | The Grand Rapids Press
A four-season, Olympic-style archery center once planned for the grounds of the Rockford Sportsman’s Club in Algoma Township could well be on its way to a new home.
The facility found itself homeless this summer after club members rejected the conditions in a $500,000 state grant that was to be awarded for the project.
By Josh Berenter | The Grand Rapids Press
HOLLAND -- Brad White is the consummate cycling teammate, but he may just have to abandon his fellow riders on the United Health Care team for Saturday’s Herman Miller Grand Cycling Classic in downtown Grand Rapids.
White’s wife, Jenny, is due any day with the couple’s second child, and the Holland resident has made it clear where his priorities lie.
By Ron Cammel | The Grand Rapids Press
PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP — Volunteers can start clearing paths in the woods for the area’s third mountain bike trail of the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance.
The Plainfield Township Board approved an agreement to allow the nonprofit to create trails in public parkland on 10 Mile Road, south of the intersection with Wolven Avenue.