Holiday Road, which has lit up the nights in Spring Lake Township's Heather Court subdivision for the past several holiday seasons, is moving to a strip mall in Norton Shores.
Holiday Road founder Brad Boyink said he's excited about hosting his first indoor show. He said the 2012 show will feature 180,000 lights synchronized to music inside a 3,300-square-foot storefront in The Pointes mall at the northeast corner of Sternberg and Old Grand Haven roads.
Boyink moved earlier this year from the Heather Court neighborhood to a home on Lake Michigan, necessitating the need for a new venue. He's been searching for a new site since March.
Boyink said he explored sites near the Grand Haven airport and at the outlet mall in Holland Township, but he said those locations didn't pan out because of zoning issues and modification timelines.
“I don't want any comparison from the neighborhood to this,” Boyink said. “I knew if we were going to do something, we'd do something totally different. It's going to be a walk-through display inside the building.”
Boyink said this year's show will feature facades inspired by Dr. Seuss. He'll use the entire ceiling in the light show, including aerial laser effects over the crowd.
“There's just a whole new set of logistics,” Boyink said of the indoor site. “This is an entire rebuild. It will be smaller, but we'll have some really different, wild stuff. The intention is to do it this year in a smaller space, then find a bigger spot next year that will hopefully be a permanent home for it.”
More than 300,000 lights illuminated the Spring Lake Township neighborhood, but Boyink said he's confident 180,000 will be enough to make the indoor space sparkle.
“There are less lights, but what I'm able to do with the lights is far more advanced than what the neighborhood display was doing,” he said.
Wait times should be down, too. Instead of cars lining up for miles with wait times of up to two hours, Holiday Road 2012 will use an appointment system. Visitors can pick up free passes at the site with a time stamped on it, then show up at their designated time to experience the 15-minute display.
“You can even stop on your way home from work and pick up a pass for later that night,” Boyink said. “Or you can pick up a pass, go out and shop, grab a bite to eat, and come back at your designated time.”
Norton Shores Fire Chief David Purchase said he gave the green light to the project after an on-site meeting with Boyink on Monday. City officials plan to issue a building permit for the project this week, according to Purchase.
“Anytime you can attract customers to your commercial district, that's a good thing,” Purchase said. “We're good with their plan.”
The show will run Tuesdays through Sundays, beginning Thanksgiving night through Christmas Day night. Donations will benefit Special Olympics.
Last year's display raised $47,000 for Special Olympics, according to Boyink.