USA Today travel writer visits Grand Rapids

6:18 PM, Sep 27, 2011   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan (WZZM) - Thousands of visitors are streaming into Grand Rapids for ArtPrize, but one visitor is in Grand Rapids for a different reason - to check out the community's travel amenities.

USA Today Travel Writer Ben Mutzabaugh, who writes the Today in the Sky blog, arrived in Grand Rapids on Tuesday.

He's here because readers voted online to have him visit Grand Rapids to check out the airport. Seven cities and their respective airports were up for the tour in an online competition.

"Our readers in Grand Rapids saw this vote and they were like hey, lets bring this guy here," he said.

Mutzabaugh says once the Grand Rapids social media community heard about the voting, they jumped all over the opportunity for more national exposure.

"The social media folks here in Grand Rapids got a hold of this including the people at WZZM," he said. "In the last 24 hours [of the competition] Grand Rapids just pulled away from everyone else."

So, Mutzabaugh will be touring Ford International Airport and checking out a bit of West Michigan as well, even taking in the ever more popular ArtPrize competition.

"Once I saw the social media reaction, I said wow," Mutzabaugh said. "When people here want to rally around something, they do."

"This is one of the coolest things I think I've seen," the writer would say later about his first day touring ArtPrize.

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