The Greater Lansing Region
Successfully linking the heart of a state with businesses, families and progress
There’s a vibe flowing through Greater Lansing based on a combination of smarts, leadership and grit. When adding the area’s well-established arts, education, healthcare, and sense of community, it’s easy to see why Greater Lansing professionals, students and families enjoy life here.
The region is an ideal mix of lawmakers, educators, entrepreneurs and industry. The presence of the Grand River and Red Cedar River add a leisurely mood to Lansing’s streets—to first-floor retail stores and restaurants, to office spaces and to upper-level loft living. Entertainment, a growing craft beer scene and sports add excitement and nightlife.
The region’s Class A professional baseball team, the Lansing Lugnuts, is a popular source for family fun.
“Our fans take pride in the Lugnuts and in having a great facility in downtown Lansing where they can take their families, clients and employees,” said Nick Brzezinski, Assistant General Manager for the Lugnuts, an amateur baseball team affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Lugnuts play 70 games each spring and summer at Cooley Law School Stadium, which is owned by the City of Lansing and is currently undergoing $23.5 million in renovations.
“We have tremendous support from the people of the Greater Lansing area,” Brzezinski said of the team’s 50-mile draw.
A center for business. Lansing sees about 1.5 million visitors a year. The Michigan Main Street community is home to more than 1,000 businesses, including galleries, retail stores, restaurants, law firms, lobbyists and other professional offices.
One of those retailers, Kositchek’s Menswear, opened its doors in late 1865—first in Eaton Rapids and then in Lansing on North Washington Square. Four generations later, David Kositchek attributes the store’s ongoing success to its location and talented staff.
“We are located one block from the capitol building,” he said. “The location offers us a wide range of potential customers from all over the state. Cooley Law School students, young professionals living downtown and higher-end restaurants all contribute to our vitality.”
Doing business internationally, MessageMakers could be headquartered anywhere. Instead, Owner Terry Terry chooses to remain local and expand his facilities in Old Town. With office and production space on Turner Street and a warehouse providing 10,000 more square feet, MessageMakers promotes clients’ brands through videos, social media, events and more.
Old Town is growing in its cultural influence as the district continues to receive an influx of artistic investors who are retaining the original charm while improving the aesthetics. Those investors have furthered the renaissance of the historic commercial district by creating popular events such as Lansing JazzFest, Old Town BluesFest and the Michigan Mosaic Music Festival.
While East Lansing is alive with student life, one of its alumni, Mark Sellers, has returned to open HopCat in downtown.
“Mark has always had a love for East Lansing and the whole Spartan community,” said Chris Knape, Marketing & Communications Director for the company. “It’s been amazing how open and welcoming the City of East Lansing and the other businesses have been.”
The bar serves 100 different craft beers on tap and homemade comfort food. Yet, HopCat is not a typical college bar. It draws students, families and seniors to its casual, come-as-you-are atmosphere. And 99 percent of the employees are locals.
East Lansing is implementing a cultural economic development plan, which will create a regional identity for the galleries, museums and arts-based programs. A major step forward was taken with the opening of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.
The arts, boutiques, restaurants, universities, healthcare and businesses are all important in drawing people from around the world. The region is filled with culturally diverse families, singles and seniors with international flavor and recreational options.
Reaching into the suburbs. While Lansing is the seat of Michigan’s state government and East Lansing is home to Michigan State University, Greater Lansing is rounded out with picturesque small towns and friendly neighborhoods. The region is a hub for education, business, high-tech manufacturing, three medical schools, two law schools, an international airport, as well as quality libraries, museums and performing arts.
The region welcomes about 4.7 million visitors a year who spend about $424 million, according to the Greater Lansing Michigan Convention & Visitors Bureau. Tourism supports more than 7,200 people who make their careers in hospitality.
Leaders from Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties are investing in the future by promoting the region as a whole, cooperating to tell the story of Greater Lansing. They are working to share services, streamline efficiencies and improve the region’s infrastructure, parks and other amenities. The collaboration benefits visitors and residents in three counties, which include DeWitt and DeWitt Township, Delta Township, Delhi Township, Meridian Township, Charlotte, Grand Ledge, Eaton Rapids, Mason, Williamston, and St. Johns.
“We’ve been blessed with rich cultural assets throughout the region,” said Lori Mullins, Community & Economic Development Director for the City of East Lansing. “Through the cultural plan, we’re seeing more interaction between groups.”
To live life to the fullest, turn your attention to Greater Lansing—regardless of whether you’re focusing on work or play.
Greater Lansing hosts a growing number of Mid-Michigan festivals
Regardless the season, Greater Lansing is filled with festival fun.
“We thought it would be great to have 500 people at the event, but we sold that many tickets the first day,” said Stephanie Wohlfert, Special Events Coordinator for the Lansing Lugnuts. “Between the two events, 4,500 people attended.”
The Beerfest will remain a semiannual event, spring and fall, connecting guests with about 40 vendors, all of whom feature craft beer, ciders and fermented honey. There were between 200-250 selections.
The Lansing Entertainment & Public Facilities Authority manages the stadium and two other venues—Lansing Center and Lansing City Market. It also sponsors the Common Ground Music Festival, which has grown to seven days and attracts close to 90,000 people.
Lansing City Market provides a year-round shopping experience by providing space for more than 20 merchants, including local produce, fresh-baked goods and kayak and canoe rentals.
The Lansing Center is attached to the Radisson Hotel by a covered sky bridge that stretches over the Grand River and overlooks the capitol building.
In the modern facilities or in an outdoor park, Greater Lansing hosts festivals from the Fun on the Rocks Winterfest to Maple Syrup Festival to Capital City Film Festival, Victorian Festival, East Lansing Art Festival, Great Lakes Folk Fest, Delta Rocks! Family Festival, Bath Days and the St. Johns Mint Festival, to name a few. In addition, there are several local races, including the the Capital City River Run. The gatherings draw people from all over and fill the calendar from January to December.
For a complete listing of regional festivals, go to www.lansing.org/events/local-festivals/.