Upper Minnesota Valley Housing & Community Dialogue
Join USDA Rural Development, Greater Minnesota Housing Fund and Minnesota Housing along with local and statewide stakeholders for a day of sharing and learning. This Housing & Community Dialogue is designed to engage a broad network of stakeholders for tactical discussions about specific affordable housing needs in communities in Yellow Medicine, Chippewa, Big Stone, Lac Qui Parle, and Swift Counties.
The event is free and open to the public. Please pass this along to anyone who may be interested!
REGISTER online by Friday, March 27
10:00 a.m. – Welcome/Demographics and Data
11:00 a.m. – Local Perspectives Panel
12:00 p.m. – Agency Overviews featuring Barb Sporlein (Minnesota Housing), Warren Hanson (Greater Minnesota Housing Fund) and Colleen Landkamer (USDA Rural Development)
12:30 p.m. – Lunch
1:30 p.m. – Afternoon Working Sessions. Choose from the following:
• Strengthening communities through single family and multifamily housing rehabilitation
• Communities in Transition: Meeting diverse single family and multifamily housing needs
2:30 p.m. – Recap and reporting
The UMVRDC has been selected as the “Community and Economic Development Partner Region” by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development. The goal of this partnership is to increase awareness of resources available to further economic development within the Upper Minnesota Valley Region, ensuring the sustainability of its communities well into the future. The more that is known about where to access information on resources that can be leveraged across varying agencies and partnerships, the better the public is served. In coordination with USDA staff, UMVRDC is working to identify opportunities in support of local and regional projects.
The Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference was held February 3-4 at the St. Paul River Centre. Hundreds of chambers, business owners, hotel/resort owners, and others gathered to share and learn new marketing strategies that our society is now turning to. From utilizing Instagram, to targeting audiences via Facebook, to going digital, the marketing strategies have changed drastically over the past few years. John Edman, Director of Explore Minnesota Tourism, discussed industry trends and how tourism is changing today. You can view Edman’s and other keynote speakers here.
Edman stresses the importance of the positive economic impact tourism has on every county in Minnesota. Shown below you’ll find the economic impact tourism had on the state of Minnesota in 2013.
Minnesota’s Economic Impact: Sales and Jobs (2013)
Travel/tourism in Minnesota generates:
- $13 billion in gross sales
- More than $35 million a day
- 250,000 full and part-time jobs
- 11% of total private sector employment
- Almost $4.5 billion in wages
- $840 million in state sales tax
- 17% of state sales tax revenues
Growth in the tourism industry
Sales at leisure and hospitality businesses grew 49% from 2003 to 2013, including 4% annual growth for 2013.
2003 ($8.7 Billion) ——– 2008 ($11.8 Billion) ———- 2013 ($13.8 Billion)
Impacts of state tourism advertising
- 3.1 million Minnesota trips
- $320.2 million traveler spending
- $29.7 million direct state and local taxes
- 2.0 million additional intended trips in next 12 months
- $68 to $1 traveler spending return on ad investment
- $6 to $1 state and local tax return on ad investment
Economic Impact by County
Minnesota’s Leisure and Hospitality Industry, 2013
|Counties||Gross Sales||Sales Tax||Private Sector Employment|
|Lac Qui Parle||$3,951,985||$282,207||95|
The Leisure and Hospitality industry consists of Accommodations; Food Services and Drinking Places; and Arts, Entertainment and Recreation. Sources: Minnesota Department of Revenue; Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
Interesting Marketing Ideas…
There are three different types of groups you should focus your marketing around:
- Baby Boomers: (61+) focus your marketing around the months of April, May, Sept, Oct and between Thursday and Monday.
- Millennials: Interested in topics such as Culinary, Art in Action, Culture, and Home & Gardens (Farmers markets). ** Skew marketing younger and the boomers will follow the millennials.
- Women: women make up 80% retail spending, 70% travel decision, and use the internet 80% of the time before buying (want to feel safe before making a decision)
- Create multigenerational trip ideas for your visitors and website, give them unique options – they are looking for the unusual
- What makes you different or clearly better – everyone has that charming café that serves homemade food, but why does yours stand out from others (ex. Beef commercials – unique food that you generally only see in Western Minnesota)
- Don’t try and be a destination that you aren’t, embrace what you own (Fishing, Hunting, Stargazing, unique museums and landmarks, etc.)
- Focusing events and driving traffic downtown is key
- Follow the 7 – 8 – 7 Rule
- 70% retail spending takes place after 6:00pm
- 80% are women’s sales
- 70% is curb appeal – make your downtown and outside of your store appealing
You can visit the Explore Minnesota Tourism website for the full speaker presentations and conference highlights, but below are some interesting facts and ideas to share and to think about.