The Howard Johnson franchise on 28th Street in Grand Rapids has seen occupancy soar since owner Bob Sullivan made a seemingly unfashionable business decision: accommodate smokers.
And not just the tobacco variety. Sullivan caters to marijuana smokers, as well.
Twenty rooms already have been renovated to accommodate smokers. And by the time Sullivan’s done, 60-80 of the hotel’s 155 rooms will allow smoking â€” accommodating medical marijuana patients as well as tobacco smokers.
Michigan legalized medical marijuana in 2008, and Grand Rapids decriminalized marijuana last year â€” making possession of a small amount a civil infraction, similar to a parking ticket.
Occupancy at the Howard Johnson “has seen an increase every weekend,” Sullivan said. “Every weekend, every one of those rooms is sold.”