Detroit Experience Factory: Redefining What It Means To "Take A Tour"

December 24, 2015 - Passage

Detroit Experience Factory: Redefining What It Means To "Take A Tour"

By Emily Cedar

Owner and operator of Detroit Experience Factory, Jeanette Pierce, is a lifelong city resident. Her passion for Detroit is contagious, which could be part of the reason her entire staff also resides in the various neighborhoods of Detroit, Michigan. Jeanette has a unique way of showing Detroit to both newcomers and locals that is unlike any typical tour out there. As all good storytellers know, the best way to convey a message is to show, not tell. This is exactly how Jeanette and her team at DXF provide engaging and interactive tours for those seeking more knowledge about this historically rich city. Instead of simply using facts and figures to educate attendees, the DXF team shows people what it is truly like to experience Detroit. Through personal stories and introductions to local business owners and community members, the DXF tour allows you feel at home. By simply setting foot on a walking tour, one can quickly understand why Jeanette has made Detroit her home base.

How did this DXF get its start?

I really love Detroit, so in April of 2003 I moved downtown and haven’t driven to work since! I started DXF with a friend in 2006 that was originally branded as Inside Detroit. We wanted to give people the inside scoop on Detroit and even connect locals to their community. We both had day jobs, but then in 2008 got a space on Woodward and opened the first welcome center of Detroit. Shortly after, we moved the Welcome Center to 123 Monroe Street and settled on Detroit Experience factory.

We provide three free tours every week. Our customized group tours, innovative resources, and interactive experiences are intended to connect locals and visitors to Detroit. All of our staff lives in the city, so we can all give context for what has happened and what is currently happening in Detroit. During our tours we educate people using facts and figures, as well as personal experience.

We’ve customized our tours for corporations, universities, book clubs, scavenger hunts, and even state legislature. We recently took Dr. Schlissel, the president of Michigan, and his wife took a tour of Detroit!

Last year we took 12,000 people on tours, and this year, over 17,000. We are really proud of these numbers because we don’t do much marketing or advertising; it’s all word of mouth. We are happy to say that over the past ten years, we have taken almost 70,000 people around Detroit!

What resources (besides your tours) do you offer to newcomers and locals of Detroit?

Many people say that they’ve been everywhere and that they have nowhere new to explore in Detroit. The DXF team and I beg to differ. Nearly fifty places have opened in the past year alone. We have a downloadable checklist of 312 bars and restaurants in the greater downtown area. These are places that are open nights and or weekends (no Jimmy Johns). This list is updated every month or so. Another resource we offer at our welcome center is our Insider’s Map & Guide. For us, design is not an afterthought. The map is very detailed and informative, yet easy to read and understand. Also located under the “Resources” tab on our website, anyone can download our Downtown Detroit Self-Guided Walking Tour PDF, which is a great intro to downtown.

What makes your tours unique?

Our tours are unique because they are so interactive. We don’t just show you a bar that’s been around for thirty years; we introduce you to the bar tender and owner. We are constantly connecting tour attendees to business owners and community leaders. These people are our friends, our neighbors. When you’re telling a story that is a part of you, it’s much more interesting. Our tours are not scripted. Instead, we allow the personality of each guide to come out in the tour, as well as his or her passion for living in Detroit. I can train facts and figures, but I can’t train passion.

We always walk on our bar tours so that we can show people just how walkable things are. Detroit has really amazing local small businesses and more and more coming every day. By the end of the tour, you’ll feel like a star in the show Cheer’s; we make you feel like a regular after your first time there. One of the great things about Detroit is that it hasn’t been overrun by chain restaurants. Each place has it’s own story. 

Although our maps, brochures, and other online resources can be very helpful, the most important thing that my staff and I can offer is our own testimonials and stories. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, which can be dangerous because people make false assumptions about the dangers of this city. Because we are all residents of Detroit, we are able to tell people the truth. I’ve walked home from the bar by myself for years. It’s important that visitors and locals alike hear the many positive stories about Detroit, not just the negative.

How do you engage the community?

We’ll be hosting another social media contest in the summer. We challenge people to visit as many places in Detroit throughout the summer as possible. Last year’s winner went to over two hundred places in ninety days! To participate, just tag us on Instagram along with #dfxchallenge.

What are the biggest challenges you face?

There are two assumptions that people make when they walk into our Welcome Center. The first is that they know everything there is to know or everything they need to know about Detroit. The second is that tours are boring. We do everything we can to dissolve these assumptions and go above and beyond expectations.

Demand has been off the charts; there are so many people that want to know more about Detroit. We are continuing to expand our staff, but our main goal is to move through the barrier of what people consider a “tour”. A lot of people think tours are only for tourists. Our way of moving past this challenge is simple- we talk to people. Once locals or newcomers talk to us, they get it. Then, they tell their friends and the word about our city continues to spread.

How do you connect your guests to the Detroit community?

People think we only focus on downtown, but we actually take people around the 139 square miles of the city. Our focus is not just on what’s new and fresh, but also help spread the word about the great neighborhoods and small business that have been here a really long time. We are the megaphone of those neighborhoods and strive to tell the stories that would otherwise be forgotten. We have incredible relationships throughout the community because we are the community.


DXF Challenge Featured in The Jewish News

July 15, 2016 - The Jewish News

Experience Detroit

By Ryan Fishman

Admit it, you’ve probably complained before there’s “nothing” to do and nowhere to eat in Detroit. I know I have. In reality, however, there are 622 bars, restaurants and cafes in the city, and they’re all on the Detroit Experience Factory’s Third Annual Bar & Restaurant Challenge.

The DXF Challenge is pretty straightforward — whoever visits the most places before Sept. 30 wins an “Ultimate Detroit Experience Package” valued at more than $1,000. There will also be random winners selected all summer long, so just one night out can make you a winner. When you go to a place on the list, just post a photo of yourself at the bar or restaurant on Instagram with the hashtag #DXFchallenge.

Last year’s winner visited 200 places across the city. If you need a little inspiration or help learning more about what’s going on in Detroit, DXF has an amazing number of summer tours planned that include both strolling suppers and bar tours.

The Detroit Experience Factory is an affiliate of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, a nonprofit that uses experiences and innovative resources to help both newcomers and longtime locals get more connected to the city. Since 2006, more than 75,000 people have taken a DXF tour. For more details and registration, visit


Do things in Detroit, win prizes

June 3, 2015 - Metro Times

Do things in Detroit, win prizes

By Alysa Zavala-Offman

A couple months ago the Detroit Experience Factory (DXF) opened a new welcome center, offering tours and programs to both locals and tourists. An outgrowth of D:hive, part of DXF's mission is to help people experience Detroit.

To help fulfill that mission, DXF plans to host their second annual DXF Checklist Challenge. Metro Detroiters are asked to take to Instagram, chronicling their stops at Detroit bars and restaurants. The challenge takes place over the next three months and a winner will be announced at the end of the challenge, but prizes will also be awarded randomly every month throughout the competition. 

The participant to cover the most spots will win a package valued at over $1000. According to DXF's Director of Brand Strategy Matt Chung, the package will include a one-night stay at a Downtown hotel, plus a private bar tour provided by DXF and gift certificates for breakfast and dinner. 

To participate, all one needs to do is consult a list of eligible bars and restaurants as delineated by DXF. Chung says they selected these places because they're located in the greater Downtown Detroit area and open on evenings and weekends, making them accessible to more people. 

Anyone can participate in the challenge by visiting these locations, snapping a pic on Instagram and including the hashtag #DXFCHALLENGE, but to be eligible for prizes, participants must go here to register, also check challenge guidelines while you're there. There are some stipulations, like you must be in the picture, be 21 or older, and have a public Instagram account. 


DXF Featured on Rocket Fiber Connectivity Blog

May 18, 2015 - Rocket Fiber

Three Downtown Detroit Businesses on the Importance of Connectivity

Detroit Experience Factory

Inside the Compuware Building, right across from the bustling Campus Martius Park, is Detroit’s very own welcome center.  Detroit Experience Factory serves as a hub of vital information on the city. It’s where newcomers and Detroiters alike can stop in to ask questions, grab maps, hop on their laptop, or sign up for a fun, informative Detroit-themed tour.

With so much foot traffic, Detroit Experience Factory is constantly sharing and publishing information online. More bandwidth would make their space a destination for Detroit natives and visitors, and help connect more people.

“We are a welcome center so we are always sharing information. Faster Internet will help us connect more people,” said Matt Chung.



Tour Detroit with Detroit Experience Factory

March 19, 2015 - Fox 2 Detroit

Tour Detroit with Detroit Experience Factory

If you're looking for a new way to experience or see the city, check out Detroit Experience Factory. 

"We are the front door to getting to know more about the city of Detroit," says Jon Chezick. 

The company offers both walking and bus tours. Free walking tours are every Saturday at 2 p.m., and public bus tours are the first and third Saturday of every month. Specialty bus tours are also offered. 

"Any time somebody wants to have a fun outing that they want to put together, and have it just be their group or teambuilduing for jobs, or attracting new talent, they come to us and we show them a good time," says Chezick. 

Last year, the company says they took more than 12,000 people on tours


Detroit Experience Factory will open a Detroit Welcome Center on 313 Day

March 4, 2015 - Metro Times

Detroit Experience Factory will open a Detroit welcome center on 313 Day

By Alysa Zavala-Offman

The Detroit Experience Factory (DXF), an outgrowth of D:hive, announced today it plans to open its new welcome center on March 13, also known as 313 Day in Detroit. 

The new center promises to offer tours and programs including a "Detroit Experience Pass" and a kids tour with the Michigan Science Center. 

In the three years before D:hive split to become two separate entities, the program took over 30,000 people on tours of the city and its attractions. DXF's executive director Jeanette Pierce says the new welcome center will help the program offer even more to folks hoping to explore Detroit's limitless possibilities. 

According to a press release the new center will include old amenities as well as new.

The new DXF Welcome Center will continue to help individuals find information, connections, and key tools needed to live, work & engage in the city whether they’ve been here a day or a lifetime. DXF will also continue to offer free Downtown Walking Tours every Saturday at 2pm, Community Bus Tours 1st & 3rd Saturdays and monthly bar tours as well as customized private tours.

Activities are planned from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the center's opening day. They include a breakfast sponsored by the Detroit Institute of Bagels, Lunch by CK Mediterranean Grill and Cottage Inn, snacks from Golden Fleece, a happy hour sponsored by Firebird Tavern and Angelina Italian Bistro, and a pre-St. Paddy's Day bar tour put on by the Downtown Detroit Partnership. 

To register click this link.  


Get to Know Detroit's Hard-Working Ambassadors at Build Institute and Detroit Experience Factory

February 4, 2015 - Corp! Magazine

Get to Know Detroit's Hard-Working Ambassadors at Build Institute and Detroit Experience Factory

By Karen Dybis

Business owners understand big transitions – everything from executive changes to name changes to rebranding.

Right now, one of Detroit’s most successful entrepreneur programs is making big changes. D:hive has evolved into two organizations: Detroit Experience Factory (DXF) and the Build Institute.

The Build Institute, which is now located at 2701 Bagley, is a program under the Downtown Detroit Partnership. Its 2015 mission is to “advance minority ownership and community entrepreneurship in the city of Detroit and beyond,” according to April Jones-Boyle, the longtime architect of D:hive and Build’s programs, events and workshops.

Some background: Build Institute is a network of grassroots programs that assist people in turning their project or business ideas into reality by providing the necessary tools, education and support to get started. To date, Build program have graduated almost 400 aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs from both its eight-week small business and project planning class and its social entrepreneurship class, with many starting successful businesses in the city.

Many of Detroit’s most recognizable newcomers have started their hard climb toward business ownership via Build programs. They include: Sister Pie (which is holding a Dance-a-thon this weekend to complete its funding on a new building in the Villages area of Detroit), Good Cakes and Bakes on Livernois in the Avenue of Fashion, Fresh Cut farm, Beau Bien Fine Foods and Detroit Vegan Soul.

Build offers networking events, mentorship opportunities, connections to resources, and a nurturing community that allows ideas to develop and flourish over time, Jones-Boyle said. Some of its other offerings include:

• Classes and public forums on small business for current and aspiring entrepreneurs.
• Business networking opportunities and variety of alumni support resources.
• Build Bazaar, a rotating pop-up marketplace that supports Detroit entrepreneurs.

Detroit Experience Factory has set up shop at 123 Monroe Street. Its story is tied directly to the uber-energetic and enthusiastic Jeanette Pierce, a lifelong Detroiter and advocate for the city. After moving downtown in 2003, Pierce wanted to find a way to help others see the vibrant, beautiful Detroit she knew and loved. In 2006 she and a friend founded Inside Detroit, a nonprofit with a mission to give an insider’s perspective of the city to anyone and everyone who was curious about what was really happening in Detroit.

A few years after Inside Detroit opened, the Hudson Webber Foundation started a new project called D:hive, with a mission to encourage talent attraction and retention in the city. In 2012, Inside Detroit and D:hive joined forces for a 3-year period. Pierce and her crew of tour guides continued to lead tours with D:hive, and in 2013 they have helped over 10,000 people experience Detroit. In February 2014, almost exactly 8 years after Inside Detroit was started, D:hive Tours became the Detroit Experience Factory.

DXF offers:
• Public and private tours, special-event coordination and Detroit orientation experiences.
• A welcome center for visitors and guests, helpful Detroit ambassadors, maps and more.
• Live and work resources for new or existing residents and developing professionals.

Want to learn more? Attend one of these events.

Feb. 12: Build Open House. Join Detroit Entrepreneur Week for a Build Institute Open House + Happy Hour from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Build HQ (2701 Bagley Avenue). Check out the new space in Southwest Detroit and learn more about the programs in store for 2015. Build will also feature a Mentor Matchmaking between professionals and entrepreneurs. Light refreshments will be served.

Feb. 14: Build Bazaar. Build Institute will hold its Valentine’s Day Build Bazaar with more than 10 diverse Detroit-area vendors. The romantic event aimed at helping people buy a locally sourced holiday gift will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Café Con Leche Nord (2990 W. Grand).

Feb. 16: Open City. Open City is a forum for Detroit’s aspiring and established small business owners to learn, network and exchange information in a fun and lively atmosphere. Panels meet monthly at Cliff Bell’s, where speakers discuss topics specific to doing business in Detroit, followed by casual networking. Events take place on the third Monday of every month, 6-8pm, from October to April, and are FREE and open to all. No RSVP required.


You think you know Detroit? Think again

It wasn't until 8 p.m. on Tuesday last week when Jeanette Pierce arrived home from work and realized that it was nine years to the day that she started D:hive, the nonprofit responsible for the recruiting and retention of a major amount of talent and innovation in the city.

On Jan. 6, 2006, after advertising on Myspace, Pierce and friend Maureen Kearns launched Inside Detroit, the precursor to D:hive, in a bar called Pulse. They handed out free drink tickets and signed up people for tours of the city then considered so dead it was beyond redemption.

Pulse has long-since closed, and the building it was housed in razed. Millennials think Myspace is a reason to break off a relationship, and several people called Pierce crazy. She also was broke enough to wonder if they were right. Still, Pierce held steadfast to a lifelong passion for the city.

Almost a decade later, her mantra "I love Detroit" now has a tag line. "Detroit loves me back," Pierce said early this week in that infectious, gregarious manner of hers that comes across like an ice cream cone. You cannot not like Detroit's biggest booster.

D:hive — e.g. her baby (Kearns left early on to start Detroit Segways) — was the umbrella company for the welcome center tours and the small business incubator. Both became so successful they were busting at the seams.

In 2014, some 12,000 people took one of D:hive's Detroit tours. That's up from 10,000 in 2013 and 8,000 in 2012. The interview process for new hires at Quicken Loans now includes a two-hour tour. In the two years that D'hive's Build Institute has been incubating small business entrepreneurs, some 400 have graduated; many have gone on to start their own businesses.

Now two separate entities as of January, Build Institute moved to Bagley in Mexicantown, where it will continue to operate its small business programming. Detroit Experience Factory, or DXF, will advance D:hive's mission, celebrating some of the city's best kept secrets and providing an "insider's perspective of one of America's greatest post-industrial cities."

"It's such an exciting time in the city," said Pierce, 34, ticking off her plans for new programs (one that centers around volunteerism and community engagement is called "Volun-Tours") in the rapid-fire speech that is her calling card.

Ordering an iced tea in CK Mediterranean Grill, next door to her office on Monroe, Pierce is on a first-name basis with the owner, just as she is with most every proprietor of any establishment in the city.

After all, those are the kind of relationships you forge when you are so invested in the city, like inviting its 700,000 residents via Facebook to your wedding. In 2011, Pierce and now-husband Richard Peresky exchanged vows in Campus Martius and served 800 cupcakes from the Capuchin bakery On the Rise.

Raised in East English Village and the youngest of five children, Pierce's father sold insurance to many of the city's nonprofits and her mother was politically active.

"In 1979, they bought a new house in the city, and not because they're martyrs, not because they wanted to make a point, but because they wanted culture and diversity," she said. "As a kid, you don't realize the importance of those decisions, but I do now."

As a result, Pierce says she was hanging out in blues bars by the age of 15, becoming a fan of Thornetta Davis, who sang at her wedding. Growing up, her three best friends were African-American, biracial and Latino.

After college — she attended Aquinas College on a full-academic scholarship — Pierce moved back to the city in 2003 at the age of 22 and never found a reason to leave.

"Why would I?" she asked. "I can walk to 250 bars and restaurants. I can walk to three major sports stadiums. I can walk to 13,000 theater seats. We have the second-largest theater district in the country. I can walk to Canada for heaven's sake!"

And if that sounds like a tourism spiel, she fully admits it is. "It's just that I'd go to the bar and have these amazing conversations that over the years those conversations have turned into spiels."

Like: "In certain places, people go the bar and they talk to the people they came with and the people they want to go home with. But in Detroit, we talk to everybody. Young, old, married, single, gay, straight."

And: "Detroit is big enough to matter in the world and small enough to matter in it."

A self-described data nerd and communicator, Pierce says she loves what she does because she can have a huge impact in a relatively short amount of time.

"You can't fix public schools overnight and you can't fix poverty or crime, but give me two hours and I can change someone's life. That's pretty cool."


Detroit Experience Factory to move to Monroe Avenue, Build Institute to Bagley Street

December 16, 2014 - Model D

Detroit Experience Factory to move to Monroe Avenue, Build Institute to Bagley Street

By MJ Galbraith

Over 12,000 people took one of D:hive's Detroit tours this year. That's up from 10,000 in 2013 and 8,000 in 2012. Since D:hive launched its Build Institute in 2012, over 400 people representing every Detroit ZIP code have graduated from the popular small business incubator, and many of those have gone on to start their own small businesses in the city.

Given these successes, it might come as a surprise to some that D:hive is disbanding this year, celebrating with a farewell party Dec. 18. at the D:hive storefront on Woodward Avenue. And actually, the end of D:hive is a good thing, a result of its success. The organization has so excelled at being a booster for Detroit tourism and small business that it is splitting into two separate entities.

The Build Institute is moving to the Repair the World office at 2701 Bagley St. in Mexicantown, where it will continue to offer its small business programming and classes. D:hive tours have been re-branded as the Detroit Experience Factory, or DXF, which will soon operate out of 123 Monroe Ave. That opening is Jan. 12.

Jeanette Pierce has been championing Detroit, at least in an official capacity, since 2006, when she started her first tour group, Inside Detroit. In 2008, that group moved into the now-familiar home of 1253 Woodward Ave., where it became the city's first ever brick-and-mortar welcome center. In 2012, it became a part of D:Hive. What was supposed to be a pop-up has lasted nearly seven years.

For Pierce, this whole experience has been about experimenting to find what works and what doesn't. No one knew what to expect when they started the Build Institute program and now it's become so successful that D:hive is splitting apart so each faction can concentrate on their own goals.

"We'll still work together," says Pierce. "We're like siblings moving out and on our own."



Detroit: A City to Fall in Love With

December 11, 2014

Detroit: A City to Fall in Love With

By Amanda Knaebel

DETROIT — On a street where “COMING SOON” signs litter the store fronts and the sounds of construction echo from building to building like an orchestrated symphony of new energy and life, stands a storefront with a bright orange sign, D:Hive.

It is the welcome center where all the busy bees entering the city can come to for a hub of information on working, living and loving a city with a rich history and a transforming future. This is also where Jeanette Pierce can be found, a young entrepreneur that turned her adoration of her hometown into an experience she can share with the world.

We’re talking about Detroit. That’s right, the haven for small people who want to do big things. A born and raised Detroiter, Jeanette shares her passion and knowledge of the city at Detroit Experience Factory or DXF, the tour sector of D:Hive, through variations of tours that embrace and uncover the hidden gems in Detroit

Passion exuded through Jeanette’s voice as she narrated the tale of her love affair with Detroit city. “It started off as like a best friend kind of love,” said Jeanette, reminiscing on her relationship with Detroit. “From a very early age, I had to defend Detroit, like my friends from school weren’t allowed to come to my house just because I lived in the city.”

Jeanette was not discouraged though. She remained loyal to her misunderstood city and shared all of its positivity whenever she could. It wasn’t until after college that Jeanette began to see Detroit by a city-light setting. She moved downtown and began to explore
the city by foot, discovering places that she never knew existed. “That’s when I went from friends to like ‘in a relationship’ status because I just got to know it so much better, on such a deeper level,” said Jeanette.

As a former study abroad student in Spain and recent college graduate, she had tossed around the possibilities of staying in Detroit, going away to grad school or moving to Spain. Ultimately, her heart kept her home. “There were all these possibilities and it was like, no, Detroit’s the one, it’s the one for me and it was a full on commitment after that,” avowed Jeanette.

Her symbolic marriage to Detroit was recognized when she and Maureen Kearns officially launched Inside Detroit, the first brick and mortar Detroit welcome center, in January 2006. She also married her literal husband three years ago at Campus Martius so she could incorporate her first love, Detroit. “That’s when I became, like full-on committed,” said Jeanette. The purpose was to introduce people, both visitors and locals,to the misjudged city of Detroit.

With no money, few resources and a college dorm collection of furniture in a borrowed storefront on Woodward, Jeanette was running on passion and hope. In 2007, at age 26, Jeanette was congratulated for her efforts when she was awarded with Crain’s 20 in their 20s, honoring young professionals and entrepreneurs who make an impact in the metro Detroit area. “I wasn’t crazy,” Jeanette said was the biggest affirmation she got from the award, “you know, whenever you start something there’s a lot of people that think it’s a dumb idea.”

In 2012, Jeanette got more backing on her idea when InsideDetroit merged with D:Hive as a three-year experimental partnership that combined everything someone could possibly want to know about Detroit, and offered Jeanette’s non-profit a support system that she desperately needed.

Jeanette explained the hardest part about running her organization was the financial and business aspect of it, because it wasn’t something she wanted to do and not something she was particularly good at.

“It’s like if you’re making cupcakes, and then you start to do accounting, and then the accounting sucks, then the cupcakes are going to start to suck, too,” analogized Jeanette. “And that’s where D:Hive really helped, by bringing in a support system for all the back end kind of stuff.”

D:Hive continues to grow, with 12,000 people to date experiencing Detroit through Jeanette’s and other DXF tour guide’s excursions. Jeanette’s favorite part about each of her tours is seeing the transformation of people as they learn things they never knew about
Detroit. She explains that talking about Detroit, and seeing people react gives her a unique type of energy.

“I’m not allowed to have coffee and talk about Detroit at the same time,” joked Jeanette.

Jeanette is excited for the split of D:Hive, and explained that the split will mean more specialization, not a loss in resources. “As things grew within ... we were growing out of the D:Hive program,” said Jeanette.

She also explained that D:Hive was only meant to be a three-year project to give the process a sense of urgency and to stimulate experimentation.

Jeanette will continue to focus on DXF, the sector of D:Hive which includes tours, serves as the Welcome Center and gives information on how to work and live in Detroit. Jeanette continues to fall in love with Detroit each day, and has remained excited and optimistic for the future of her beloved city. She has made Detroit her life and wants others to fall in love with the city the way she has.

As Detroit has become media’s favorite underdog story, Jeanette could be considered the city’s modern day Cinderella. So how would Jeanette summarize her love story with Detroit? Probably with one of her favorite taglines, “You can’t make this shit up.”


Detroit Experience Pass offers discounted admission to 7 world-class museums

October 29, 2014 - MLive

Detroit Experience Pass offers discounted admission to 7 world-class museums

By Dustin Block

DETROIT, MI - Tourists visiting Detroit can now get discounted admissions to seven of the city's most popular cultural attractions with the new Detroit Experience Pass.

Launched by the Detroit Experience Factory, the DX-Pass is the first of its kind to provide access to several of Detroit’s world-class museums in one package.

“Many other cities offer some type of museum pass. We’re excited to finally be making this happen in Detroit,” said Jeanette Pierce, executive director at DXF.

Organizers believe the DX-Pass is not just for out-of-towners. It encourages locals to make a day or a weekend out of Detroit’s amazing cultural assets and for some, to visit places they’ve never been before.

“There are many locals that don’t realize how cool it is to have a “cultural district” in Detroit," said Tonya Matthews, CEO at Michigan Science Center. "The Michigan Science Center is almost close enough to our sister institutions to literally hold hands. I think the Detroit Experience Pass will help remind us all of the STEM, Arts and Ed destinations in our own backyard."

For $32, the DX-Pass grants visitors access to these seven cultural experiences:

* Charles H. Wright Museum
* Detroit Historical Museum
* Detroit Institute of Arts
* Michigan Science Center
* Motown Museum
* Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
* DXF Cultural Center Walking Tour

The pass may be used for one standard admission to each of the listed partner organizations and will be valid for 8 days from when the pass is picked up. It can be purchased online starting Oct. 28 and can be picked up at D:hive, MoCAD or the Detroit Historical Museum starting Nov. 1. It will also be available for purchase at the D:hive Welcome Center at 1253 Woodward in Downtown Detroit.

For easy access to the participating cultural institutions, the Hard Rock Cafe will provide a complimentary shuttle for pass-holders on Saturdays from 12-5pm. The shuttle will run a continuous loop between participating museums.

Additionally, the DX-Pass will offer discounts to some of the museum gift shops and a growing list of local Detroit businesses to encourage people to expand their cultural experience to include meals and shopping. The Detroit Experience Pass is made possible with support from the Downtown Detroit Partnership, MLive Media Group, IXITI! and all the participating museums.

The Detroit Experience Factory, a program of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, creates experiences that are enlightening, entertaining and led by Detroiters. In 2013, DXF took over 10,000 people on tours of the city and served as a go-to resource for visitors and longtime Detroiters looking to explore Detroit’s rich history and exciting new developments.

DXF offers a wide range of experiences including walking, bus and bar tours, and customized experiences such as scavenger hunts, strolling suppers, and more. Learn more at

Downtown Detroit Partnership is a partnership of corporate, civic and philanthropic leaders that supports advocates and develops programs and initiatives designed to create a clean, safe, and inviting Downtown Detroit. More information available at


D:hive Tours Expanding, Renamed ‘Detroit Experience Factory’

February 17, 2014 - CBS Detroit

D:hive Tours Expanding, Renamed ‘Detroit Experience Factory’

DETROIT (WWJ) — The Detroit business welcoming center D:hive announced that it will be launching the Detroit Experience Factory, its rebranded tours program, offering an expanded selection of public and private tours of Detroit geared towards helping local companies attract and retain talent.

In 2013, D:hive Tours took over 10,000 people on tours of the city and demand has continued to grow.

“We’ve come so far simply by grassroots marketing and word of mouth,” said Jeanette Pierce, D:hive’s Director of Community Relations. “The new brand and marketing push will allow us to help even more people get the most out of living, working and playing in Detroit.”

The Detroit Experience Factory will launch March 1 with a weeklong series of special events, including bus tours, strolling suppers, a bar crawl, scavenger hunt and more, culminating in a public launch party on March 7 at Exodus Rooftop Lounge in Greektown. This weeklong celebration is an opportunity for individuals to experience the wide range of offerings DXF provides at half off the normal rates.

In addition to providing an expanded menu of public and private tours, DXF will focus on attraction and retention in Detroit by helping companies, both existing and new to Detroit, introduce and recruit talent to the city.

“DXF is all about helping people get to know and understand Detroit better, whether they’ve been here a day or a lifetime,” Pierce said. “Our new mission is to create experiences that are enlightening, entertaining and led by Detroiters in order to demonstrate that Detroit is an exceptional place to live, work and play.”

DXF is a continuation of the work started in 2006 by Pierce at Inside Detroit, which joined forces with D:hive in 2012. DXF continues to operate as a program of D:hive under the direction of Pierce and Jon Chezick, DXF’s Director of Experiences.

“We chose the name Detroit Experience Factory because we are more about creating unique Detroit experiences and connecting people to the community, than the boring and surface level sightseeing people traditionally think of as a tour,” Chezick said.

Individuals and groups can browse the tour offerings and sign up for events on DXF’s website:

The schedule of events for DXF launch week is as follows:

Saturday, March 1: DXF Bus Tour, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.; DXF Walking Tour, 2 – 4 p.m.
Sunday, March 2: DXF Family Fun Bus tour, 2 – 4 p.m.
Monday, March 3: DXF Public Scavenger Hunt, 5:30 – 8 p.m.
Tuesday, March 4: DXF Lunchtime People Mover Tour, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 5: DXF Happy Hour Bar Tour, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 6: DXF Public Strolling Supper, 6 – 9 p.m.
Friday, March 7: DXF Launch Party, 5:30 – 9 p.m.

D:hive is designed to welcome new recruits and assist existing innovators in the city, in order to grow and keep more talent in Detroit. Its storefront Welcome Center provides individuals with information, connections and key tools they need to live, work and engage in the city. Located at 1253 Woodward Ave., D:hive is a project of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, with support from the Hudson-Webber Foundation, Quicken Loans/Rock Ventures, Model D Media, Detroit Economic Growth Corp. and others.