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Experience Grand Rapids Destination Immersion Series

Tuesday, May 24, 2022
feature blog graphic Presented by The ESTO Team

Grand Rapids


Start the Weekend Right!

If you haven’t heard, Grand Rapids has an array of out-of-classroom experiences designed for you to explore our host city while learning from industry leaders. Thanks to the folks at Grand Rapids and to our Destination Immersion Series sponsor, Simpleview, you can now choose one of three unique city tours! Whether you’re looking to grab a pint at a local craft brewery or admire some works of art, the team has you covered.


Beer City USA - Crafting a Destination Brand

Long Road Distillers Tour

Currently celebrating 10 years as the reigning Beer City USA titleholder, Grand Rapids has also been voted America’s Best Beer City, Beer Scene and Beer Town in national polls. We’ll visit Founders Brewing Company, the brewery that pioneered the city’s modern-day beer reputation, to explore the Founders story – and the many ways we boost tourism through beer. Includes beer tastings.  Transportation provided.


The Grand River - Restoring the Rapids

Park Looking to Skyline

There haven’t been any actual rapids in the Grand River that flows through downtown Grand Rapids in over 100 years. Learn about the community’s project to restore the river, return the rapids to Grand Rapids, and how a destination asset study and community collaboration is helping broaden support for this effort to enhance the natural, cultural, and commercial appeal of downtown’s riverfront. Includes a walking tour of the riverbanks and a cool craft beverage following the tour.


The Power of Art - Creating a Scene 

One Bourbon

The 1969 installation of a massive Alexander Calder sculpture in downtown Grand Rapids jumpstarted a vibrant public art program that eventually led to the creation of ArtPrize® – the most attended public art event in the world, held in downtown Grand Rapids every other year. Take an exclusive guided walking tour featuring ArtPrize pieces that remain in downtown to learn how art put Grand Rapids on the global map. Afterwards, enjoy a beverage (on us!) at a local downtown spot for an art-filled recap.

Register no later than Friday, July 22nd.  


Already Registered?

Log into registration here and follow the steps below to register for your Grand Rapids Destination Immersion session. 

  • Click on "Already Registered?" and enter in your registration details.
  • Click on "Modify Registration".
  • Click "Next" until you arrive on the Sessions page.
  • Select the Destination Immersion session you would like to attend.
  • Continue through the remaining portion of registration until you arrive on the Payment page. 
  • Click "Submit" to lock in your session!


Read our FAQ for info on what to expect!

  • Do I have to pay for the Destination Immersion sessions? Sessions are complimentary for registered ESTO attendees. ESTO registration badge will serve as required credentials. 

  • How many Destination Immersion sessions will be offered? We are offering (1) session for each of the (4) Destination Immersion topics.

  • How long is each Destination Immersion session? Each session will be about 2 hours long. Start time will be 1:00 pm and end at 3:00 pm with the exception of the second Beer City USA session, starting at 3:00 pm and ending at 5:00 pm.

  • Is there a maximum capacity for each Destination Immersion session experience? To ensure attendees enjoy the best experiences, sessions have limited capacity to 30 spots. Choose 1 session only. Registration will fill on a first-come, first-serve basis. Reserve your place asap!  

  • Is it possible to change my Destination Immersion session after registration? 
    We will do our best to accommodate changes and allow those waitlisted based on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please email us at

  • I am on the waitlist. When can I expect to hear if I can attend the session? As cancellations come in, the ESTO team will admit those on the waitlist on a first-come, first-serve basis. You will receive an email to confirm if you’d like to attend the session you’ve chosen before we finalize your spot for the session.

  • I am no longer able to attend. What do I do? If you must cancel, please do so within 72 hours before the sessions so we can accommodate those on the waitlist. Cancel by Monday, August 1 at 12:00 pm ET or by emailing

  • Where do I join the Destination Immersion sessions? All sessions will depart from the DeVos Place near ESTO’s registration area in the West Grand Gallery on Saturday, August 6th. Check-In at Destination Immersion Registration Desk. Buses leave promptly at 1:00 pm for all sessions with the exception of the 3:00 pm Beer City USA session, with the bus leaving promptly at 3:00 pm.

  • What should I wear? Casual, cool, and comfortable. Average temperatures in August are high 81 F / low 60 F. Be sure to bring sunscreen, sunglasses and we recommend a hat. In case of inclement weather, attendees should bring rain ponchos and/or umbrellas.

  • Is food/drink provided? One beverage per attendee will be provided at the end of the session.