Our network

My Town GR North: Creston Neighborhood welcomes city's first hostel | Arts & Culture

Title (Max 100 Characters)

My Town GR North: Creston Neighborhood welcomes city's first hostel
My Town GR North: Creston Neighborhood welcomes city's first hostel

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Two longtime Grand Rapids residents plan to transform a 150-year-old Victorian home into the city’s first hostel.

Cousins Mark and Phil Bouman plan to open the Grand Rapids International Hostel in 2015. The men recently purchased a home near Leonard and Plainfield for their pursuit.  The house, built in 1878 by a lumber baron, features four bathrooms and five bedrooms, which will welcome up to 30 people a night.

“The hostel experience is really one of community,” said Phil Bouman, co-owner of Grand Rapids International Hostel. “It’s about sharing space, food, knowledge and experience. Mark and I believe Grand Rapids has a lot to offer, and we want to share it with others.”

Both Calvin College graduates have extensive experience abroad; Mark taught English and coached soccer while living in La Paz, Bolivia.  He has stayed in hostels across the world.  Phil taught English in Santiago, Chile and has extensive travel experience across the U.S. and Latin America.

The Creston Neighborhood Association is backing the hostel.  In turn, the Boumans plan to reinvest in the community, adding a community garden and contributing to the neighborhood’s long-term goals.