15 September 2011

A “gamble” that paid off

Rich DeVos, in recalling his and business partner Jay Van Andel’s decision to buy the old Pantlind Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids in the ’70s, said it was a “total gamble.”

But it’s one that paid off in ways few could have imagined.

Amway’s purchase of the Pantlind Hotel was a catalyst for a period of rebirth and growth in our city that continues today.  

When the Pantlind reopened September 15, 1981 with the addition of a 29-story tower, the Amway Grand Plaza brought fine dining and award-winning accommodations back to downtown.  

The hotel also provided space for hundreds of guests to stay, which, along with the opening of DeVos Hall and the Grand Center the previous year put Grand Rapids on the map as a meetings and convention destination.

Three decades later the skyline has changed and downtown Grand Rapids is a vibrant destination for visitors and locals alike.

And the gamble paid off.

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One thought on “A “gamble” that paid off

  1. Of the many years that I have been an Amway IBO, some of most pleasurable times was going to Grand Rapids and the Pantlind Hotel for the Amway Open Conventions held early in June. My first, we traveled from California, and the last was from Sydney Australia and seeing the Amway Grand Plaza.
    If Amway ever started having Open Conventions again, I would be there an hour before the doors open so I could get the best seat that was free. I love this business!

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