Another winning season for Duluth tourism
I'm going to use a football analogy to "kick off" this month's article. ("Kick off," get it?) Duluth's tourism industry is finishing the third quarter of another great season. Relatively speaking, we're up by 21 points heading into the fourth qua...
I'm going to use a football analogy to "kick off" this month's article. ("Kick off," get it?) Duluth's tourism industry is finishing the third quarter of another great season. Relatively speaking, we're up by 21 points heading into the fourth quarter, we have the ball at midfield and all of our starters are healthy.
As we ran into the second quarter of the year, Grandma's Marathon celebrated its 31st running with record crowds, superb weather and one of the most jam-packed Grandma's weekends in history. Duluth also enjoyed the company of a few thousand Harley Davidson motorcycles as we hosted two Harley Owners Group events. Bolstered by these great events, June was marked as one of the biggest monthly increases ever in tourism revenue for the city of Duluth.
As July rolled around, the Fourth of July holiday was once again a resounding success. Visit Duluth's Fourth of July fireworks display stunned audiences throughout the city and continued its tradition of being the best in the upper Midwest. UMD's Sieur Du Luth Summer Arts Festival entertained visitors, and Movies in the Park drew thousands to Leif Erikson Park every Friday night.
August brought more terrific events to our community. The 19th annual Bayfront Blues Festival showcased some of the best blues acts from around the country on arguably the country's greatest outdoor stage. The Brewhouse Triathlon, in its 21st year, had its largest field ever. And Glensheen's Festival of Fine Art and Craft drew a few thousand more visitors to this annual free event.
This month, the NorthShore Inline Marathon continued its claim as North America's largest inline marathon.
Each year, as I reflect on Duluth's busiest visitor season, I am amazed at the number of nationally-acclaimed events Duluth hosts in such a short period of time. At Visit Duluth, we are grateful to the thousands of volunteers who put in thousands more hours preparing for, and executing, these spectacular events. And we are thankful that each of these events was sparked by the imagination of hard-working visionaries. All of these collective efforts continue to pay big dividends for our city.
Yes, the first three quarters of 2007 have been successful. But it isn't time to rest on our laurels. The hospitality industry is geared up for another spectacular autumn in northern Minnesota.
Fall may be one of the best times of the year to take advantage of Duluth's renowned Bed and Breakfast facilities. Our typical B&B guest appreciates the intimacy these grand homes provide. They also relish the rich experiences unique to their visit, like gourmet meals, breakfast in bed and in-room massages. And they particularly enjoy the outdoor experiences Duluth offers, such as hiking, biking and leisurely drives.
The success of Duluth's B&B homes is the result of a well-established working relationship among the group of owners. They have worked together to build this niche market with cooperative marketing efforts that highlight the unique qualities of each home. In addition, the group is critical to establishing Duluth's reputation as a premier heritage tourism destination. They have already had a significant impact on our community's historic preservation and restoration efforts.
One of Duluth's other signature autumn events is the annual raptor migration at Hawk's Ridge. Although the Hawk's Ridge Nature Preserve's annual event was last weekend, visitors from all over the country come to watch thousands of migrating hawks and raptors from one of the best perches in Duluth.
As much as we love fall colors at Visit Duluth, we're equally anxious for what comes next.
The 16th annual AMSOIL Duluth National Snocross is less than two months away, providing a strong finish to Duluth's 2007 events. Aside from The NATS, Spirit Mountain opens its winter wonderland with the anticipation of more skier and snowboarder visitors than ever.
Like I mentioned earlier: we've had three great quarters, and a good-looking forecast for the rest of the year. Duluth's tourism industry is in prime mid-season form, and it looks like we're going to make a strong playoff run. I am hopeful that, in future months, we can report a hall-of-fame year.
For more information on Duluth's events, you can pick up the official Guide to Duluth or go online to visitduluth.com. Or you can stop by our new, official visitor center at 21 W. Superior Street, Suite 100, or call (218) 722-4011 to speak with a travel information manager.