Your City, Your Business: Local tourism is 'picking up' in more ways than one
It's the time of year when we all roll up our sleeves and do a little spring cleaning. And every May, we see a great deal of community pride throughout Duluth as individual citizens, civic groups and public workers give our city a good once-over ...
It's the time of year when we all roll up our sleeves and do a little spring cleaning. And every May, we see a great deal of community pride throughout Duluth as individual citizens, civic groups and public workers give our city a good once-over in anticipation of the warm, busy months ahead.
As part of National Tourism Week, May 13 to May 21, Duluth's hospitality community also steps up to assist in the efforts. On the second annual "Tourism Is Picking Up Day," set for Wednesday, a committed corps of tourism industry folks will spend the day raking, sweeping and cleaning. It's a great opportunity to help beautify Duluth while focusing on the importance tourism plays in our community.
"Tourism is Picking Up" sponsors include Hartel's DBJ Disposal Company, Famous Dave's, the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Visit Duluth. This year, our volunteers will focus their attention on one of our most-revered attractions -- the Lakewalk.
Sales tax receipts up
According to the latest sales tax receipts, tourism is quite literally picking up, too. While 2005 marked the 17th consecutive year of sustained revenue growth, tourism tax collections are 7 percent higher than 2005, based on March 2006 reports. Summer inquiries are very healthy, positioning Duluth for another record-breaking year. The Edge Waterpark has brought many new visitors to the city, and there continues to be heightened interest in historic tourism and the outdoors.
New tour CD
An exciting new tour CD, Exploring Historic Duluth, is being released this month as part of the cultural and heritage tourism program recommended by the Preservation Development Initiative. The 20-stop, self-guided audio tour features some of Duluth's finest architecture, including beautiful old churches, gorgeous private residences and landmarks like Glensheen. The CD comes on the heels of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation's new full-length documentary film about Duluth's heritage and the Duluth Aerial Bridge.
Gateway to the World was released for public sale on April 25. It's a world-class production, documenting destiny's path from a 17th century battlefield in Belgium to Abraham Lincoln's billion-dollar savior -- from the birth of steel to the mobilization of global economies -- so much has passed through the Gateway to the World.
Sales of the film will support the Duluth Legacy Endowment Fund, whose mission is to enrich the lives of Duluth children, families and supporting organizations. The 74-minute DVD, produced by Carlson Media, is a superbly done tale of how the Aerial Bridge has become a symbol of opportunity for our region. Gateway to the World is being distributed at lakesuperior.com, with all proceeds going to the fund.
Congratulations to Grandma's Restaurant Company as it prepares for its 30-year all-employee reunion party May 19-20. Interest from all over the country is high.
"It's amazing to think about the 6,000 employees who've worked for us throughout the years, ... each one of them contributing to our success in their own way. Our employees have all shared a common denominator of enthusiasm, passion, hard work and the ability to have fun. Imagine getting that group together for a weekend, celebrating a culmination of all their work," said Brian Daugherty, president of Grandma's Restaurant Company.
From spearheading the renaissance of Duluth's Canal Park to helping build Duluth's most popular signature event, Grandma's Marathon, there's no doubt Grandma's is a Duluth icon. Tourism and modern Duluth wouldn't be the same without them. Congratulations on your 30th birthday.