DDP CEO Note – July 13th

Eric B. Larson

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To quote Dave Grohl: “A rich and vibrant music scene brings a lot of happiness. It’s like air – it’s important. You need to have that in your life just to remind you that life’s worth living.”

There was a lot of happiness in Downtown Detroit this past weekend. It was, in fact, a record-setting weekend at Comerica Park.

Depending on your taste in music, you may have attended one or all three nights of performances –– back to back to back –– Friday, Saturday and Sunday by Chris Stapleton, Billy Joel and an all-star ’80s rock line-up on Sunday headlined by Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard. As Detroit and our region come back together, this weekend clearly demonstrated the critical economic and socal benefits for our community. Thanks to DDP Executive Committee Members Chris Ilitch and Mike McLauchlan, with the Comerica Park team for bringing the 100,000 concertgoers and generating hundreds of thousands of dollars to our bars, restaurants and small businesses.

It is efforts such as these that are embodied in the Downtown Detroit Partnership as we celebrate 100 years of service to Downtown Detroit and its companies, workers and residents this year. It’s an incredible accomplishment and honor to continue a legacy that began in 1922. Our team is excited to share what’s in store for the Centennial Celebration (see below), but let’s first recognize another milestone that is small in number but huge in impact — Beacon Park’s 5th Birthday.

Beacon Park opened in July 2017, and I’ll first say if you haven’t been yet, GO! It is a Downtown jewel. The park, managed, operated and programmed by DDP in partnership with the DTE Beacon Park Foundation, spans1.2 acres and features stunning light installations, an open lawn space with games, seating and the outstanding, contemporary two-story restaurant, Lumen. The park hosts daily activities, including musical performances, children’s events, art installations and local markets. Family-friendly Beacon Park, is a magnet for the community – attracting over three million visitors since its opening and spurring new development. Birthday celebrations for Beacon Park are next weekend. Check out our events calendar for the details.

Beacon Park is a prime example of the importance of green space and the commitment of our city and its leadership to — the cliché fits — think outside the box. The best use of space is not always more brick and mortar. Beacon Park is a case study in creative thinking, placemaking and city planning, one of the hallmarks of DDP’s 100-year history. Thanks to former Board Members Gerry Anderson and Dave Meador as well as current Board Members Jerry Norcia and David Ruud of DTE.

We will celebrate all this and more at DDP’s Centennial Celebration on August 24 in Campus Martius Park. Huge thanks to the many organizations that have stepped up to support us and the event. It is a validation of our efforts, and our team is grateful. More on our sponsors and how to get involved follow.

Finally, there’s much more in this issue on what’s happening in and around the DDP. Summer in Downtown is in full swing, and it’s better than ever.

Don’t miss a minute of the fun.

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