Newsweek: Grand Rapids is a dying city; locals disagree

10:52 AM, Jan 24, 2011   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)-- Last week, Grand Rapids was listed as one of Newsweek Magazine's top 10 dying cities in the nation.

The article named the top cities who have seen the largest population decline, with a specific focus on people under the age of 18 years. Grand Rapids ranked number ten.

But many people who live and work in the city say the title is misleading. One of those people would like to show Newsweek why.

That person is Grand Rapids native, Paul Jendrasiak. He wrote a Facebook message to Newsweek,  inviting the publication to Grand Rapids.

"It's a world-class city. We have so many great amenities like the wonderful art museum, the great hotels right across the street, the great restaurants, the great nightlife... we have so many things coming through this area that keeps the activity going on year-round," says Jendrasiak.

George Aquino, who is the general manager of the J.W. Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids,  agrees that the record should be set straight.

"When you have the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the Today Show all writing about the great things about Grand Rapids, it's quite shocking to see how Newsweek would just limit their study based on statistics on the census," says Aquino. "This city is thriving."

Whether Newsweek accepts the invitation or not, many locals agree: "A dying city? Absolutely not. We are not dying by any means," says Jendrasiak.

The statistics Newsweek used in its article does not include Grand Rapids suburbs like Kentwood, Rockford or Wyoming.


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