Tour city with Detroit Experience Factory
BY ALEXUS BOMAR
OU News Bureau
The Detroit Experience Factory focuses on tours that connect locals and visitors to the people, places and projects in the city.
“We’re helping people understand the assets that we have here but also understand the challenges and frequently breaking down the myths that exist mostly within our local population,” said Jeanette Pierce, lifelong resident and DXF founder.
DXF has taken more than 85,000 people on walking and bus tours in the city and hopes to reach 100,000 people this year.
The organization puts Detroit, the region and its history into context by having visitors step off buses, walk in the city and meet business owners.
“Detroit has world-class assets including an international riverfront, four major sports teams within walking distance, and 13,000 theatre seats in a five-block radius,” said DXF’s experience coordinator Ian McCain.
“Detroit is unlike any other place on this earth,” McCain said. “Despite the city’s challenges, what you will find is a group of thoughtful, caring and passionate citizens leading Detroit through her toughest challenges and celebrating the creative, innovative solutions that lead to her greatest triumphs.”
The organization helps anyone wishing to live, work or engage in the city by providing information and opportunities such as tours to meet business owners.
Sue Krause, DXF’s community liaison, said people should visit Detroit to see for themselves all that the city offers by taking one of the Detroit Experience Factory tours.
DXF provides tours throughout greater Downtown Detroit, which is 7.2 square miles and includes Downtown, Midtown, Woodbridge, Eastern Market, Lafayette Park, Rivertown and Corktown neighborhoods.
Greater Downtown Detroit features over 400 eateries, 350 shops and 64 arts and cultural institutions, according to the 7.2 Square Mile report.
According to Pierce, DXF’s most popular tour is the “Detroit Innovation & Inspiration” tour, where participants get to see the people behind the projects that help reinvent Detroit, including the Greening of Detroit, Detroit Bikes Factory and Artesian Farms.
The “Downtown & Beyond” bus tour, another popular tour, lets people get a sense of community and collaboration by visiting neighborhoods within greater Downtown Detroit.
Other tours include “Art & Architecture,” “Best of Downtown” and “Tasting.”
Pierce’s favorite part about Detroit is “the people, the small businesses and the sense of community where you know your neighbors and this friendliness that you don’t get in other big cities.”
The winter tour schedule runs from November to May and includes the “Art & Architecture” tour at noon Fridays, the “Downtown & Beyond” bus tour on the first Saturday of each month and the “Best of Downtown” tour at 2 p.m. Saturdays.
Summer tours for DXF run from May to October and features the same tours as the winter schedule plus bar tours including an “Eastern Market Bar Tour” and the organization’s first “Livernois Bar Tour.”
“Detroit is big enough to matter in the world and small enough for you to matter in it,” Pierce said.
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