Kristi Stokes: Celebrating the heart and soul of DuluthAs we begin a new year, it’s exciting to reflect and celebrate the successes of 2010 while looking forward to the possibilities in 2011.
By: Kristi Stokes, Budgeteer News
As we begin a new year, it’s exciting to reflect and celebrate the successes of 2010 while looking forward to the possibilities in 2011. And what better way for the Greater Downtown Council to share those milestones and initiatives than with our 26th annual dinner meeting later this month.
Downtown Duluth stakeholders, residents and professionals from across the community are expected to join us Jan. 19 at the DECC for this important celebration.
Highlighting the event will be a keynote address from Minnesota’s new lieutenant governor, Yvonne Prettner Solon. The lieutenant governor kicked off her political life in 1988 when she was elected to the Duluth City Council. It was during that first term that I met her while serving as a news reporter who often covered city government. She frequently demonstrated strong and graceful leadership, was well versed on issues and had an ability to put individuals at ease.
It was no surprise that she went on to serve two more terms and then aspire to higher office at the State Senate. Now, we are fortunate to have a Duluthian in the Lieutenant Governor’s Office.
Whether the lieutenant governor in St. Paul or a business owner on Superior Street, we all share a similar passion for the community we call home. And the heart and soul of that community is our Downtown Waterfront District.
During the past year we gained new hope for historic buildings such as the NorShor Theatre and the former St. Louis County Jail, and we were energized by fresh ideas from investors along the bayfront.
We made it through massive road construction along Interstate 35 and gained insight on new ways to manage and promote parking in our downtown. We unveiled new promotions to drive traffic to our member businesses, gave our downtown a splash of color with new holiday lights and decorations and capped off the year with the opening of Amsoil Arena.
And, as we look ahead, we are truly optimistic about the future of our downtown. The momentum continues to grow, and we are proud to play a role in the revitalization of our central urban core.
The GDC will be taking on new initiatives in 2011 and we are excited to be launching a retail program at our annual dinner.
Hear more about plans to keep Duluth’s downtown at the forefront by joining us at the GDC annual dinner meeting Jan. 19. Reservations are required; go to www.downtownduluth.com or call 727-8549 for ticket information.
Kristi Stokes is the president of the Greater Downtown Council. She can be reached at 727-8549.