Blog: Jeanette Pierce

Get wind of what's happening on Woodward with Jeanette Pierce, co-founder of Inside Detroit. This non-profit walking convention and visitor's bureau has the ground-level view of Detroit's cultural, historical, entertainment, and retail venues. Jeanette will explain how Inside Detroit is attracting talent and promoting economic growth in the region.

Jeanette Pierce - Post 1: (Re)Discover Detroit

There are over 130 bars and restaurants in the approximately one square mile of Detroit's Central Business District, and that's not counting any fast food chains or places that are only open for lunch. Don't believe me?  Here's a complete checklist so you can see how many you have, or haven't, been to. 

If you were surprised by that fact, or any of these other ones, you aren't alone. There are lots of things about Detroit that most people are surprised to learn. That's why we started Inside Detroit…to introduce people to a Detroit that defies expectations. Inside Detroit began when Maureen Kearns and I came together under the same thought: The more people know Detroit, the more they love it.

As two people who lived, worked and played in Detroit we wanted to show others the great gems, many of them hidden, that Detroit had to offer, but we wanted to do it from an Insider's perspective. Not only did we want to show people the history and architecture, we wanted to show them where they could find great boutiques and great beer too. Most importantly we wanted to introduce people to the Detroit community, which is full of diverse, interesting and friendly people. It isn't about just giving tours. It's about telling the story, and sharing the experiences, of the Detroit we know and love.

Recently we opened the Downtown Welcome Center at 1253 Woodward, just north of Campus Martius Park, to provide information of all sorts to locals and visitors alike, from maps to museum info, and from the Detroit Derby Girls schedule to the Good Girls Go to Paris Crepe menu. The Welcome Center includes the Local 1253 where we sell all sorts of goods from local creative small businesses like Citybird and Motor City Candle Works. We also open the Welcome Center to community groups like Detroit Synergy and Cityscape to hold meetings and events.

We offer tours and operate the Downtown Welcome Center because neither the city nor the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau have the resources to do so. The Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau is a member-based organization that works hard to bring conventions to the area but does not offer tours to the public nor operate a Welcome Center. We use our information and resources to assist the DMCVB and city in any way we can.

Whether someone has been in Metro Detroit their whole life, or has just arrived, there are always more interesting things to learn, fantastic events to experience and amazing people to meet. That's why we're kicking off the summer with a (Re)Discover Detroit weekend. We want people to get up, get out and find something new and different to get excited about in Detroit. We've got something for everyone.

On Friday, May 1, we are having an Open House at our new Downtown Welcome Center; Saturday, May 2, we have walking tours at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m and a Best of Detroit Bar Tour starting at 8:00 p.m.; then Sunday, May 3, we're putting on a family friendly Detroit Scavenger Hunt from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. And if that's not enough...there's a whole list of great events going on this weekend. So pick one and explore your own town!

After three years of tours, outings and presentations we have reached more than 3,000 people, yet we've only gotten a glimpse of how great the need is for what we are doing. We have had nothing but positive responses from visitors, businesses and residents who continually let us know how valuable the information we offer truly is, and how we've shown them things they never would have expected.

Over the next few days I'll talk about how a little bit of information and insight can help attract and retain talent, increase regionalism, combat negative perceptions of the region, and even promote economic development.