Detroit has had a deep impact on the world. From putting the world on wheels to the Motown sound - Detroit has crafted American culture. Metro Detroit is a city full of surprising offerings. Currently undergoing a renaissance with new developments and attractions, Detroit's downtown boom is one that has to be experienced to be appreciated.
Arrival at the Detroit's Metro Airport sets the stage for a new Detroit. The Northwest Airlines WorldGateway Terminal has nearly 100 gates, an elevated tram, spacious walkways, enhanced luggage terminals, and Detroit-themed shops and restaurants. A second terminal has also been added to handle all non-Northwest Airline flights.
To create its new GM World Headquarters, General Motors invested $500 million in renovations of the Renaissance Center. The completed project includes a distinct office, hotel and retail complex with looming circular glass towers that dominates the downtown skyline. Along the Detroit International Riverfront, a $500 million development project is well underway along the Detroit River. A network of biking and jogging paths were constructed, which will connect a series of parks stretching from Belle Isle's MacArthur Bridge to Joe Louis Arena.
Detroit gaming options have dramatically expanded, beginning with the recent opening of the permanent MGM Grand Detroit Casino. The hotel and casino features a 17-story, five-star 400-room hotel with a full-service spa, pool and fitness facilities. The 100,000 square-feet of gaming area offers more than 90 game tables and more than 4,000 of the latest slots and video poker. Complementing the experience are entertainment venues along with restaurants including one designed by renowned chef Wolfgang Puck. Guests can dance to the rhythms of live DJs in the hottest lounges or catch big-name acts in the stunning Grand Ballroom.
Greektown Casino is scheduled to complete its expanded gaming floor and hotel in mid-2008. When finished, the casino will boast a 22-story, 400-room hotel, and new convention space. The permanent casino will be within easy walking distance of many restaurants, clubs, theaters, and sports venues. Motor City Casino's newest renovations reflect the romance between the City of Detroit and the automobile. Expansions include a full-service spa, high-end restaurant and lounge on the hotel's top floor, and increased parking. The casino, hotel tower and food service building are connected by overhead pedestrian walkways. MCC's gaming space was expanded to 100,000 square feet.
Detroit's attractions are undergoing a face lift of their own these days. Having received a major renovation, the Detroit Institute of Arts reopened in November 2007 with a complete re-installation of its galleries to provide visitors with a more comprehensive and engaging experience of the museum's exceptional collections.
The new permanent exhibit, "And Still We Rise: Our Journey Through African American History and Culture" at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History traces an odyssey that began in prehistoric Africa and ends in modern Detroit. It is a story of survival, unique cultures, the horror of slavery, and the joy of emancipation.
Opened in 2004, the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills was a $17 million project that includes a two-story, 51,000-square-feet structure spanning 8.5 acres. Jewish visitors can research their roots through the museum's computer database. The center also boasts the largest oral history collection in the Midwest. One of the 200 Holocaust survivors recruited from the 94,000 Jewish-populated Detroit area share their stories with the public daily. Equally important, the Arab American National Museum opened in 2005 to showcase Arab-American culture, traditions, and accomplishments.
The Ford Motor Company and The Henry Ford Museum teamed up several years ago to offer a unique visitor experience at the Ford Rogue Factory. The Ford Rogue Factory Tour offers behind-the-scenes look at the new Dearborn Truck Plant's Final Assembly building. The experience, which begins and ends at the Henry Ford Museum, includes two multi-screen theaters, numerous interpretive and hands-on displays, and a view of the F-150 truck being built. An observation deck overlooks the world's largest living roof, which is growing on the Final Assembly building. Interpretive displays explain the living roof and the other important environmental innovations at the Ford Rogue Center.
Detroit's southwest community has constructed the Mexicantown Welcome Center at the foot of the Ambassador Bridge in the heart of Mexican town. The $17 million project will welcome more than one million tourists annually and highlighting Mexican culture, Latin traditions, authentic food, and handcrafted merchandise at the Mexican Mercado (Spanish for the Market).
Detroit's hotels are creating new standards of luxury for visitors. The Inn at St. John's completed a boutique luxury hotel addition in 2006 that expands this Michigan landmark. The hotel features 118 elegant guest rooms and suites showcasing 12-foot ceilings, the finest in materials, and luxurious baths with the European touch. The historic Book Cadillac in downtown Detroit will operated under the Westin flag after undergoing a massive $180 million renovation that will be completed in Summer, 2008. Amenities will include scenic guest room views of the Detroit River and skyline, fine dining, and fitness center - all within walking distance of Cobo Center, the Riverwalk, and Detroit's sports venues.
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