Grand Prix Bringing Back Detroit

Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, May 29, 2015. (Photo by Jason Viau)

With an estimated 95,000 people attending the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix each year, many think this event plays a critical role in reviving the city.

Phillip Gilley recently moved from Nashville and says an event like this will help get Detroit on the right track.

“I mean it’s (the) Motor City. Anytime you can just infuse automobiles through different parts of the city in different ways through events like this — I think it definitely has a shot of drawing at least more people down to see the city and see that it’s changing,” Gilley says.

Ron Campbell of Michigan isn’t much of a racing fan, instead someone who wants to see Detroit succeed. “If you haven’t been here in the last two years, you’re cheating yourself out of the blessings of Detroit’s renewal, Detroit’s rebirth,” Campbell says. “I’m just here to pay back a little because as so goes Detroit, so goes the whole region, including our brothers across the river in Canada.”

Last year, the event generated over $47-million in tourism spending for Metro Detroit and some of that will trickle over to Windsor-Essex.

“We’ve been through some tough times, but we’re coming out of it. We’re a fighting city. We’re on the fast-track,” says Grand Prix Director of Public Relations Merrill Cain.