RiverWalk in Detroit Voted Best in Nation by “USA Today” Readers
Revitalized area attracts roughly 3.5 million visitors per year
Five miles of the Detroit International Riverfront was once the rundown remains of the city’s industrial past. It was by all accounts a dangerous eyesore. The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, Inc., decided top change that. The organization made it a mission to improve this stretch along the Detroit River and border with Canada.
Partnering with several organizations, including BrightView, this once derelict area was transformed into a great place for residents and tourists to visit and walk, run, or bike. It includes parks, fishing spots, a carousel, restaurants, and splash parks. The area has become such a welcomed and loved spot that it was just voted the 2021 Best Riverwalk by readers of USA Today.
“It was so exciting to learn that the Detroit RiverWalk had won the distinct recognition of Best Riverwalk in the country,” said Richard Korte, Pontiac Associate Branch Manager. “Shortly after the press release, I started receiving phone calls and text messages from both friends and family who have been listening to me talk about the RiverWalk and all of the work we at BrightView do over the past few years. It is very fulfilling knowing that our team’s hard work is being recognized.”
The revitalized area now attracts roughly 3.5 million visitors every year and has continued to be open through the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the RiverWalk has seen a 20-percent increase since the beginning of nationwide lockdown last March, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“BrightView has partnered with the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy since 2009 and we’re so fortunate to work with a great group of people who are always pushing the envelope to create new and imaginative ways of servicing the community,” said Sam Ventimiglia, Pontiac Senior Branch Manager. “I’m so proud of my entire team for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence.”
Every year, readers of USA Today get the chance to voice their opinions during the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards on topics such as food, lodging, travel gear, destinations, things to do, and much more.
Travel experts for the newspaper select 20 nominees for each category and then open the polling to the public. People can cast one vote in each contest per day.
“The Detroit Riverfront is a very special place for our city, and we are honored by this recognition,” said Matt Cullen, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy board chairman, in a press release.
The Top 10 list:
- Detroit International RiverWalk – Detroit
- Wilmington Riverwalk – Wilmington, N.C.
- Schuylkill River Trail – Philadelphia
- San Antonio River Walk – San Antonio
- Smale Riverfront Park – Cincinnati
- Waterfront Park – Louisville, Ky.
- Bricktown – Oklahoma City
- Mississippi Riverwalk – Dubuque, Iowa
- Chicago Riverwalk – Chicago
- Charles River Esplanade – Boston
“The leadership and vision our Account Manager Holly McCracken provides is second to none,” Ventimiglia said. “She does a great job ensuring the customer comes first and really helps with taking the vision from the customer and turning it into reality. Bobbie Jackson and his entire staff on the RiverWalk work tirelessly to ensure the quality is top notch and the customers’ needs are met and a special thanks to Rich Korte, Jon Wurges, Brent Gossett, and Dwayne Hudson, who have all had a hand over the past 11 seasons of making the RiverWalk a destination in the city of Detroit.”
BrightView is the largest provider of commercial landscaping services in the United States. Through its team of approximately 20,000 employees, BrightView provides services ranging from landscape maintenance and enhancements to tree care and landscape development for thousands of customers’ properties, including corporate and commercial properties, HOAs, public parks, hotels and resorts, hospitals and other healthcare facilities, educational institutions, restaurants and retail, and golf courses, among others. BrightView is the Official Field Consultant to Major League Baseball.
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