The city of Detroit was once known as the “Paris of the West,” famous for its architecture. In 1883, New York City’s Central Park landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead transformed Detroit’s 982-acre isle, Belle Isle, in the middle of the Detroit River. Connected to the city by the MacArthur Bridge, Belle Isle is home to a conservatory, golf course, aquarium (the oldest in the country) and a half-mile swimming beach (the only one in the Detroit!). Over the years, due to the city’s fiscal troubles, the Detroit Department of Parks and Recreation struggled to properly maintain the park. Issues of crime and security kept visitors away. But this summer, with the help of The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix (May 30-June 1, 2014), the city anticipates drawing a crowd of 100,000 people to the Isle and its 2.35-mile street circuit.
Last year, the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix generated over $46 million in spending for the Metro Detroit region. Organizers are expecting even more revenue for 2014, based on the Belle Isle Grand Prix’s latest attraction: Stadium Super Trucks – high-powered off-road trucks racing side-by-side on dirt and asphalt obstacle tracks.