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By Brian McVicar, May 21, 2019

“As proponents have sought support for a controversial dredging project that aims to open a stretch of the Grand River between Grand Rapids and Ottawa County to larger powerboats, they’ve often touted its economic benefits.

New businesses such as marinas and restaurants could pop up along the river, they say. And up to 33,000 new visitors from outside of Kent and Ottawa counties would come to boat on the body of water, bringing $3.3 million in annual new spending to the region.

Those figures were outlined in an economic impact study released in October by Grand River Waterway, the group behind the project. The nonprofit wants to make the river accessible for boaters to travel between Grand Rapids and Lake Michigan, a move that supporters say will increase tourism but opponents fear will hurt the river’s ecosystem and force municipalities to shoulder ongoing maintenance costs.

So how realistic is the 33,000-visitor projection?”

 

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Image was taken from original article.