Thursday, April 19, 2012

Van Halen Announces Extended North American Tour

Van Halen has added 18 concerts to its highly successful 2012 North American tour. The newly added dates include a stop at Van Andel Arena on Thursday, July 26 at 7:30PM. Ky-mani Marley is the opening act for all added concerts.

Tickets go on sale Saturday, May 5th at 10 AM at, Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place box offices, Ticketmaster outlets or charge: 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are $29.50, $49.50, $75, $95 and $125.

Van Halen recently premiered the video for She’s The Woman, the second single from A Different Kind Of Truth, the band’s first original studio album with singer David Lee Roth since the iconic, multi-platinum 1984. Shot during its on-going live tour, the video presents a greatest
hits of the band’s concert moments.

Fans and music critics alike have praised the group’s recent shows: “Van Halen is still one of the most limber bands in hard rock, with a higher center of gravity than most.” – New York Times

Formed in Los Angeles in 1974, Van Halen changed the rock and roll landscape forever with the release of their self-titled, 1978 debut album. Displaying unparalleled stage presence, musicianship, and songwriting abilities, the band has sold more than 75 million albums sold worldwide and created a record of achievement that is hard to top. Van Halen joins an
elite short list of two-time Diamond Award (10 million sales) honorees for their albums Van Halen and 1984. The band was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in March of 2007.

Opening act, Ky-mani Marley, son of legendary Bob Marley, has gained world-wide recognition and praise for his musical style, which transcends cultural and creative boundaries incorporating world music, hip hop, blues, rock, and reggae into one melodic entity. Since 1999, Marley has
released four studio albums and an autobiography, a GRAMMY nomination, and in 2009 started the charitable Love Over All Foundation (LOAF), which caters to empowering and educating youth. Ky-mani Marley is currently putting the finishing touches on his new album, Evolution of a Revolution.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Van Andel Arena Updates Concessions with New, Modern Menu Boards

The Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority (CAA) has approved a capital expense at Van Andel Arena for Savor…Grand Rapids, Food & Beverage provider. Installation of new digital menu boards have replaced the traditional magnetic menu boards that were installed when Van Andel Arena was erected in 1996. Ping is the company that installed the monitors and the computer systems for each location, which will control each particular menu at the click of a mouse.

Beyond modernizing the concession stands’ look, the update will help alleviate some of the costs the old menu boards incurred when prices or items needed to be changed on a yearly basis. Adding new options was also a challenge as space was limited on the magnetic boards. If necessary, prices can now be changed or items removed from the boards if supplies run out while an event is happening, helping to alleviate the patrons frustration and their options in real-time.

The digital menu boards will not only cost less over the long run, they will also help generate further revenue in a number of ways. Items and specials can now be promoted more efficiently on the digital menus along with upcoming events. They can also generate advertising sales by
being able to place pictures or videos in the middle of the boards—something that could not be done with the old static menu boards. Each menu can be more specific to the items being sold in the stands for that event.

Changes to the new menus only take a few minutes and include tickers at the bottom of the screens that will include further information on the menus and/or events. The digital boards were put in place in March 2012.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Van Andel Arena Executive Chef Wins ‘Chef of the Year’ Award

Savor…Grand Rapids/Van Andel Arena Executive Chef Chris Simpson has been awarded the ‘Chef of the Year’ award by the American Culinary Federation’s Grand Rapids Chapter.

Per the American Culinary Federation, “The Chef of the Year award recognizes an outstanding culinarian who works and cooks in a full-service dining facility. This person has demonstrated the highest standard of culinary skills, advanced the cuisine of America, and given back to the profession through the development of students and apprentices.”

In 1963, ACF created the Chef of the Year Award to acknowledge Walter Roth, AAC, for his tireless efforts to promote and elevate the profession. The award has grown in prestige, and today is the highest honor annually bestowed by ACF.

Along with Simpson, Savor…Grand Rapids Line Chef Andrew Eggert was also awarded as ‘Chef Professional of the Year’ for his work at Van Andel Arena and in the community.

With more than two decades of culinary experience behind him, Simpson, CEC, received his culinary degree from the prestigious Johnson and Wales University. Simpson came over to Savor…Grand Rapids two years ago but has served as an executive chef around the Grand Rapids area for 25 years. His culinary passion has guided him to be an active and current member of the American Culinary Federation and a 20 year member of the Kent Career Technical Center Culinary Advisory Board. Chef Simpson has guided teams at top catering venues in West Michigan as well as many fine restaurants.

Organizationally, SMG has two separate operating divisions, one for stadiums and arenas and another for convention centers, providing the same effective business principles to two distinctively different business segments. Savor…Grand Rapids is the arena’s exclusive catering, concessionaire and event services company.