News Latest NewsDetroit Dine Around Tours Promote Local Food Scene, Culinary TourismAugust 11, 2017UncategorizedCity Tour Detroit expands its repertoire with debut of culinary tours [Detroit, MI – August 10, 2017] With new restaurants opening weekly, Detroit has cooked up a reputation as a culinary hotspot. To help navigate the local food scene and encourage residents and visitors to try different restaurants, City Tour Detroit has branched out into culinary tourism with the launch of Detroit Dine Around walking tours this past July. The inaugural culinary tours took place on three consecutive Tuesday evenings and included generous food samples from four different restaurants within walking distance of each other in Downtown, Midtown, and Corktown. Participating restaurants dished up unique, ethnic, or all-American cuisine such as crushed lentil soup, lamb chili, deep-fried goat cheese, Michigan salad, shepherd’s pie, shrimp and scallion dumplings, barbeque wings, etc. “Although we feature samples for the most part on the tours as opposed full-sized courses, no one left hungry.” said City Tour Detroit owner Karin Risko. “In fact, it was the quite the opposite. Everyone was stuffed.” Walking from one location to the next was something attendees enjoyed too added Risko. “It gave them the opportunity to see things one might miss when driving by or parking and walking directly to the restaurants. Plus, our guide Nancy passed on historical tidbits about the neighborhoods and talked up nearby businesses and new developments.” Julie Molony Pemrick of Gibraltar attended the August 1 Detroit Dine Around: Corktown and remarked: “It was a fantastic foodie tour. All the restaurants were very welcoming and the food extremely tasty.” She liked how the guide “filled us in on the interesting history of the area as we walked to each restaurant” and “restaurant staff provided history about their establishment. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and highly recommend it for couples, friends, and solo diners who want to try new food tastes and experience Detroit.” City Tour Detroit will repeat these tours which range in price from $41 to $54 per person on Tuesday nights in September as well as Sunday afternoons. “We chose Tuesday nights to meet the needs of convention attendees and business travelers,” said Risko. “Many people don’t like to venture out alone when they’re on business in a major city, or they don’t really know where to go. Our tour gets them out of their hotel and exposes them to four different local restaurants. Tuesday nights, however, limit many locals from attending so we decided to offer dining tours on Sunday afternoons as well. We can also offer these tours on other nights for groups of ten or more with sufficient notice.” Participating restaurants on Detroit Dine Around: Midtown are La Palma, Rock City Eatery, The Block, and Seva Detroit. Detroit Dine Around: Corktown features Ima, Bobcat Bonnie’s, McShane’s Irish Pub, and Mercury Burger Bar. Detroit Dine Around: Favs & Flavs highlights American Coney Island, Downtown Louie’s Lounge, Brass Rail Pizza Bar, and Avalon Café and Bakery. “With so many restaurants to choose from within the vast city limits, we’ll add more tours in these same neighborhoods featuring different restaurants and expand offerings to other neighborhoods as well. We welcome inquiries from any restauranteurs who want to partner with us on these tours.” For more information on Detroit Dine Around tours, visit www.citytourdetroit.com. Free Detroit tours offered this summer to youth groupsJune 16, 2017UncategorizedFor Immediate Release Local Tour Operator Invites Youth to “See The D” Detroit tours offered this summer to local youth groups compliments of City Tour Detroit Detroit, MI, June 16, 2017– School may be out for summer, but that doesn’t mean learning needs to end. Free “See The D” downtown Detroit tours are being offered by City Tour Detroit this summer to local organizations servicing youth. These 2.5-hour walking tours offer fun learning opportunities beyond the classroom. “Every step you take downtown is filled with some historic significance,” says City Tour Detroit founder Karin Risko, a former middle school history teacher who’s thrilled to share her passion with young people. “Native American chiefs, French explorers, Underground Railroad conductors, authors of major Constitutional amendments, renowned industrialists, famous artists and social reformers all walked here.” Although tours cover kid-friendly things and popular new developments, the tours do emphasize history. “If we don’t emphasize it, who will? Education today is all about STEM. Social sciences get short shrift,” says Risko. “I’ve wanted to offer complimentary tours to young people for a long time as I feel strongly history, the humanities and cultural studies are just as important as science, technology, engineering and math in developing well-rounded, informed citizens. Budget as well as time restraints make these types of experiences almost impossible to pull off during the school year. This year, I’m finally in the position to extend the offer. I hope youth groups and their advisors are interested in taking me up on it.” Supervisors of summer school, day camps, foster care, youth jobs programs, etc. can reserve a slot for their group on select weekday mornings or afternoons from July 9 through August 25 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with preferred date and time as well as two alternate dates and times. Contact information such as name, organization, email address, and phone number should accompany requests. All tours must be prearranged. While preference will be given to Detroit organizations, if open spots exist, we won’t turn away any student groups. About City Tour Detroit Established in 2012, City Tour Detroit offers Detroit tours including step-on guide service, private and public tours. Signature public tours include: See The D; Incredible Journey to Midnight: Detroit Underground Railroad Tours; and Notorious 313 Sinister History Tours. New tours debuting mid-summer include Taste of the Town and Solid Gold Detroit. # # # If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Karin Risko at (313) 757-1283 or email at email@example.com. View us online at CityTourDetroit.com Detroit Tour: Incredible Journey to Midnight Detroit UGRR Tour ReturnsMay 26, 2017UncategorizedDetroit tour Incredible Journey to Midnight is back. When is the last time you saw 25+ people walking around downtown Detroit singing spirituals as they move from place to place amidst the raucous city sounds of blaring radios, mini bike processions, outdoor movies, pedal pub revelry, etc.? The Incredible Journey to Midnight: Detroit Underground Railroad Tour returns for three dates only. (July 22, August 5, August 26). Not to brag, but this is the best tour in Detroit, and it’s not because of any one person. It’s the best, because the history covered during the tour is in itself compelling. It’s the best because passionate, talented actors bring to life historical giants such as Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, John Brown, Laura Haviland, George DeBaptiste and more. It’s the best because our friends at historic Second Baptist Church of Detroit allow us to share their incredibly rich history by recreating a dramatic safe house experience in what was then the Croghan Street Station. Passion. Drama. Incredible History. One tour. Four nights only. Detroit RenCen Turns 40 and still dominates skylineApril 27, 2017UncategorizedRenCen update. It’s hard to believe Detroit’s most recognizable landmark, an imposing complex of seven interconnected soaring glass and steel towers, has dominated the city’s skyline for forty years. On April 15, 1977, amid much fanfare, a formal dedication was held to commemorate the opening of the seventy-three-story, 727-foot-tall luxury hotel and four surrounding thirty-nine-story towers. Two additional twenty-one-story office towers opened in 1981. At the time of dedication, the Detroit Plaza Hotel, now a Marriott property, was the tallest all-hotel skyscraper in the world, a distinction it held on to for nine years until a taller hotel opened in Singapore. It remained the tallest all-hotel skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere until 2014 when another taller Marriott hotel opened in New York. The vision for the Renaissance Center came about in 1970 when then Ford Motor Company chairman Henry Ford II and other business leaders joined forces to encourage redevelopment in the city. They believed an impressive, large-scale project such as this could breathe new life into the city’s dying downtown and jumpstart the local economy. Shortly after the project was announced, a naming contest was held. Renaissance Center, or RenCen as we like to call it, was selected from among over 140,000 entries. City officials embraced the plan, which had private investors such as Ford Motor Company, General Motors and twenty-nine other businesses with ties to the automotive industry and southeast Michigan economy underwriting the estimated $500 million price tag. Several sources claim this was the largest private investment group assembled for an American urban real estate venture. Construction began on May 22, 1973, on thirty-three acres of riverfront property. John Portman, who is credited for revitalizing Atlanta, Georgia, with his Peachtree Center design, was selected as the architect. He designed the Renaissance Center as a modern rosette rising from a square podium. According to a promotional video circulated by the Renaissance Center Partnership in the 1970s, the 350,000-square-foot podium was designed to house a shopping center. Other attributes included open soaring spaces with several visible levels incorporating color, light, texture and sound “to touch and delight our senses.” The six-story hotel lobby encompassed an acre featuring five levels of suspended pedestrian walkways crossing through it and a reflecting pool with a revolving cocktail island at its center. A 360-degree revolving restaurant crowned the hotel, offering a fresh perspective of the city each minute from seven hundred feet above. Portman’s design reflected his vision at the time of creating secure internal spaces and the concept of a city within a city, both of which would later be criticized as design flaws. While the complex initially generated excitement, drawing business tenants, high-end retailers and visitors, it wasn’t long before this shimmering beauty lost its luster. The concrete interior was viewed as harsh and stark, and the interconnected towers were difficult to navigate. The complex appeared isolated from the rest of downtown, and the fortress-like berms positioned on Jefferson Avenue that housed the mechanicals made the building even more unwelcoming. The addition of a People Mover station did little to attract people, as there were few businesses left to pique their interest. Competition from new suburban office complexes resulted in an exodus of business tenants. The Renaissance Center’s future brightened in May 1996 when General Motors purchased it for use as its global headquarters. Multiple sources indicate the undisclosed purchase price was less than $100 million, a fraction of what it cost to build. Over the next eight years, GM would spend $500 million on renovations, turning the Renaissance Center into the jewel it is today. Nearly three hundred etched-glass panels from Japan weighing four hundred pounds each were installed to create a glass circulation ring that makes navigating the center tower easier and quicker. A former parking lot, swimming pool and fitness center were transformed into a fifty-thousand-square-foot, five-story atrium called the Wintergarden, which provides public access to the Detroit River. GM put out the welcome mat at the front entrance by tearing down the foreboding berms and installing a front plaza and glass atrium on Jefferson that also serves as a vehicle display. Rather than detract from the original architecture, the changes GM made enhance the complex and make it much more inviting—something the original design sorely lacked. In January 2016, General Motors announced that the GMRenCen, its official name, will undergo another extensive 120,000-square-foot renovation. Perhaps the 5.5-million-square-foot RenCen, which is so large it even has its own zip code, was built ahead of its time—long before the other pieces of Detroit’s renaissance would fall into place. Luckily, the visionaries who conceived of this grand project dreamed large and persevered. They weren’t concerned with Detroit’s past but, rather, with its potential and invested multimillions of dollars in what they believed would be the architectural achievement of the decade and the catalyst for the city’s revival. The glimmering landmark that has served as a beacon from air, water and land for forty years is now the bustling hot spot they envisioned, and it’s at the heart of Detroit’s revival. Rather than looking dated and tired, it looks vibrant and fresh as it dominates the skyline, serving as a hub in a new chapter in Detroit’s history. Karin Risko is the author of the forthcoming book “A History Lovers Guide to Detroit.” Release date is August 14, 2017. She’s also the owner of City Tour Detroit. Discover the D: Hometown Tourist Day a successMay 8, 2016UncategorizedKarin Risko, City Tour Detroit founder, and Pat Mischel, City Tour Detroit recruiter/guide at Discover the D: Hometown Tourist Day. Jason Hall of Slow Roll fame with Suzette Day of Trumbull and Porter Hotel, Karin Risko and Pat Mischell with City Tour Detroit. TruTV Hardcore Pawn stars Les and Seth Gold We were excited to use the May 6 Discover the D: Hometown Tourist Day sponsored by Visit Detroit (DMCVB) to unveil our new name and launch our 2016 tour season. We weren't disappointed. The weather was beautiful and thousands of people passed by over 30 booths set up at Campus Martius. It was non-stop talking for 3.5 hours. We had the opportunity to chat with previous customers and other tourism colleagues. We also met so many new people who showed us much love. Several commented on how classy our logo is. We think so too! Others were excited about out tour offerings and said they had no idea a company like us was out there. Small to large business owners and coordinators for meet up groups thought our tours would make great team-building and group excursions. We wholeheartedly agree! There were even a few celeb sightings. TruTV Hardcore Pawn stars Les and Seth Gold, owners of American Jewelry and Loan, were there signing autographs and posing with fans. We've heard through the grapevine that these guys are extremely fan-friendly and yesterday, they lived up to their reputation. Jason Hall, president of Slow Roll which has become a national phenomena, was also sighted early in the day. Sports mascots and The Parade Company's giant paper mache heads made the rounds. If you attended yesterday's event, it was great chatting with you and we hope to see you on a tour soon. If you didn't attend, no need to miss out on the excitement. Check out our public tour offerings online at citytourdetroit.com.