buses · hotels · introductions · transportation

Where to Stay? How to Get Around?

These will be the big logistical/budget questions for a lot of teams.  They have a huge impact on the lodging cost and on the needed transportation once you are in the Detroit area.

We think the setup in Detroit is somewhat similar to what teams have seen before in St. Louis.  An airport several miles from the downtown, but a relatively small number of hotels in the downtown area near the competition venues.  Another factor which will affect a lot of teams is that there is no public mass transit from the airport to the downtown area.  We think these factors will cause many teams to go for the option of renting a motorcoach or bus to get to/from the airport, to/from a non-downtown hotel, and to/from the competition venue.

Prediction: Motorcoaches and rental vans will be a hot commodity in Michigan in late April 2018.

Prediction: The clusters of hotels at the many nice areas in the near suburbs of Metro Detroit will be verry popular in late April 2018.

Prediction: This .PDF map will come in handy.  It shows downtown parking areas, Cobo Center, Ford Field, the GM Renaissance Center, and the People Mover route.  NOTE: Cobo Center entrance is shown but not labeled on this map – look for People Mover Cobo Center Station, which is labeled 11 on the map.  Our suggestion is to give everyone on your team this map, write COBO near station 11, and use it to plan where and when to meet.  Note: this map does not yet have the QLine on it.

We know that sometime later in the year, FIRST will release the Championship housing information for 2018.  For reference, here is what they said for the 2017 (not 2018) season about housing:  FIRST blog from December 2016.

Below is a list of possible hotel areas that might be good choices for teams.  These are where we would think of staying.  Each of these areas offers multiple good hotels, good amenities in the immediate area, and good access to routes to downtown (or in the case of downtown, walking distance to the venues).  We will have more details on all of these in upcoming posts.

Livonia:  I-275 & 6 Mile Rd   (24 miles from Cobo Center)

Livonia:  I-275 & 7 Mile Rd   (25 miles from Cobo Center)

Northville:  I-275 & 8 Mile Rd   (26 miles from Cobo Center)

Downtown   (walking distance to Cobo Center)

Dearborn   (12 miles from Cobo Center)

Troy:  I-75 Exit 69   (21 miles from Cobo Center)

Canton:  I-275 & Ford Rd   (28 miles from Cobo Center)

Novi:  I-96 Exit #162   (32 miles from Cobo Center)

Wixom:  I-96 Exit #159   (35 miles from Cobo Center)

Madison Heights:  I-75 Exit 65   (17 miles from Cobo Center)

Belleville:  I-94 Exit #190   (28 miles from Cobo Center)

Auburn Hills:  I-75 Exits #78 and #79   (30 miles from Cobo Center)

Farmington:  Grand River & 10Mile Rd   (28 miles from Cobo Center)

Roseville:  I-94 Exit #232   (20 miles from Cobo Center)

Warren:  12Mile Rd & Van Dyke  (19 miles from Cobo Center)

Windsor, Canada:  downtown Windsor (4 km from Cobo Center, but … in a different country!)

We are not suggesting that these are the only choices.  Certainly there are more choices.  We are just trying to identify areas that we think will be complementary to the Detroit FIRST experience for teams.

hotels

Hotels: Dearborn

There is a large number of hotels in Dearborn, which is approximately 12 miles from Cobo Center.  Also plenty of restaurants and shopping.  Amenities range from very high end to fairly low end, so pay attention to your choices.

If your team is planning to do something at The Henry Ford or at Greenfield Village, or the Rouge Factory Tour, this area will be very convenient for those activities.

 

Some of the hotels in this area:

Hampton Inn, 22324 Michigan Ave, Dearborn, MI, 48124

Comfort Inn near Greenfield Village, 20061 Michigan Ave, Dearborn, MI, 48124

Edward Hotel & Convention Center, 600 Town Center Dr, Dearborn, MI, 48126

The Henry Hotel, 300 Town Center Dr, Dearborn, MI, 48126   (very fancy place)

The Dearborn Inn, 20301 Oakwood Blvd, Dearborn, MI, 48124  (very fancy place)

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Dearborn/Detroit, 5777 Southfield Freeway, Detroit, MI, 48228  (this is in the city of Detroit, but it is not downtown – it is on the border with Dearborn)

Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Detroit – Dearborn, 5801 Southfield Expressway, Detroit, MI, 48228  (this is in the city of Detroit, but it is not downtown – it is on the border with Dearborn)

 

 

restaurants

Mongolian Barbecue for dinner

You guys have these where you are from, right?  Go through a line, load up your plate with raw foods, then take it to a circular fire pit where Mongolian Chefs or high school students will cook your food in front of you.  Healthy, fun, and everyone gets fed.  Not a bad choice for a large group.

If you have questions about this place, we suggest you ask Grant from 148.  Rumor has it he worked here in high school (source: we saw him working there).

 

Several bd’s Mongolian Grill locations in the Detroit area:

Dearborn, 22115 Michigan Ave

Novi, 43155 Main St #200

Canton, 42189 Ford Rd

Royal Oak, 430 S Main St

Auburn Hills, 3325 University Dr

Sterling Heights, 13150 Hall Rd

 

hotels

Hotels: Northville, I-275 & 8 Mile Rd

8 Mile Road.  Eminem made it famous.  But the famous part is ~16 miles east of here.  Around these parts its Robostangs country.

 

Hampton Inn Detroit/Northville, 20600 Haggerty Rd.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 21100 Haggerty Rd.

Sheraton Detroit Novi, 21111 Haggerty Rd.  (this hotel is actually on the border of Novi)

 

Just off of Exit #167 on I-275.  Lots of shopping and restaurants around here.

 

We are not suggesting that these are the only choices.  Certainly there are more choices.  We are just trying to identify areas that we think will be complementary to the Detroit FIRST experience for teams.

hotels

Hotels: Livonia, I-275 & 7 Mile Rd

Hyatt Place Detroit/Livonia, 19300 Haggerty Rd.

Embassy Suites Detroit Livonia Novi, 19525 Victor Pkwy.

 

Near Exits 169A and 169B on Interstate 275.  Lots of shopping and restaurants nearby (although not as many lower-priced restaurants as at the 6 Mile or 8 Mile exits).  Very close to Dave & Busters, which is a place that the students will enjoy.

 

We are not suggesting that these are the only choices.  Certainly there are more choices.  We are just trying to identify areas that we think will be complementary to the Detroit FIRST experience for teams.

 

hotels

Hotels: Livonia, I-275 & 6 Mile Rd

Fairfield Inn & Suites Livonia, 17350 Fox Dr.

Towne Place Suites by Marriott – Detroit Livonia, 17450 Fox Dr.

Best Western, 16999 Laurel Park Dr S.

Courtyard – Detroit Livonia, 17200 N Laurel Park Dr.

Detroit Marriott Livonia, 17100 N Laurel Park Dr.

 

At Exit #170 on Interstate 275.  Near Laurel Park Place Mall.  Lots of restaurants near here.

 

We are not suggesting that these are the only choices.  Certainly there are more choices.  We are just trying to identify areas that we think will be complementary to the Detroit FIRST experience for teams.

 

Uncategorized

Governor Rick Snyder Loves FIRST!

Today on the radio they had an interview with Michigan’s Governor.  He talked about how FIRST is a great program for connecting students with mentors, and with companies who need STEM professionals.

We think his support will help make the 2018 FIRST Championship in Detroit great!

[edit June 2]  You can find audio of his keynote speech at the 2017 Mackinac policy conference in a podcast at this link.  Scroll to Thursday June 1st 2017 and you will find it.  In this speech, starting at about the 6 minute mark, he weaves FIRST into a broader picture that will make you proud.

 

restaurants

If you are gonna miss Pappy’s…

Now, we aren’t trying to compare this barbecue place to Pappy’s.  Heck, they aren’t even in the same state.  So who’s to say which one is better…

Slows Bar BQ is a great place for you to try.  It is located near where the old Tiger Stadium used to be, on Michigan Avenue.  Not a big place.  Reservations required for sure.  Open till midnight on Sat, 11PM on Thu-Fri, and 10PM the other nights.  Finding the front door is always a challenge.  Parking is sorta sketchy.

It is about 2 miles from Cobo.  Drive there.  Take Michigan Avenue.

Highly recommended!  Enjoy!

Slows Bar BQ  2138 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI, 48216.  (313)962-9828.

It is our understanding there are now other satellite locations.  We have never tried them.  But they are probably pretty awesome too.