Visit Saint Paul Announces 2016 Tourism Award Winners
Mayor Coleman, Brian Horst, U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Upper Midwest Convenience Store & Energy Convention, Saint Paul Parks & Recreation Department, Saint Paul Almanac receive awards at Visit Saint Paul's 90th Annual Meeting
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2017
Nick Cusick, Marketing & Media Relations Manager
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Adam Johnson, Vice President of Marketing & Media Relations
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SAINT PAUL, Minn. (Sept. 26, 2017) – Visit Saint Paul, the city’s official convention & visitor’s bureau, recognized six award-winners for supporting travel and tourism in 2016 during the organization’s annual meeting on Monday, Sept. 25, at the Palace Theatre in downtown Saint Paul.
Awards were presented to the following:
- Upper Midwest Convenience Store & Energy Convention as the 2016 Meeting of the Year. In spring of 2016, the Upper Midwest Convenience Store & Energy Convention met at the Saint Paul RiverCentre for the sixth straight year. In its time here, the event — hosted by the Minnesota Petroleum Marketers Association — has grown dramatically and combined events with the Convenience Stores of Iowa. The convention, which brings in an estimated economic impact of more than $1 million dollars, is booked through 2020.
- 2016 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships as the 2016 Event of the Year. In January of 2016, Xcel Energy Center played host to the best figure skaters around the United States. Event promotions included light pole banners, welcome signage and the culinary competition Taste of the Championships, which highlighted nine downtown restaurants and their unique entrees that were judged by Brian Boitano and friends. Broadcasted nationally, the event drew nearly 50,000 fans in attendance throughout the weekend and had an estimated economic impact of more than $15 million dollars.
- Saint Paul Parks & Recreation Department as the 2016 Partner of the Year. The Wells Fargo WinterSkate rink is a destination in downtown Saint Paul during the winter months, providing free skating for 11 weeks of the year. Last year, the rink hosted 28, 405 skaters — with several dates hosting more than 1,000 skaters on the rink. Saint Paul Parks & Recreation was chosen for everything it does in making the Wells Fargo WinterSkate a reality, including preparing the site for installation, transportation of materials, setting up the warming house, taking care of snow removal and ice resurfacing, staffing the rink to greet skaters seven days a week and deconstructing of the rink at the end of the season.
- Saint Paul Almanac for 2016 Member of the Year. The Saint Paul Almanac launched in 2006 to feature prose and poetry written by everyone from high school students to community writers. The annual paperback, curated by a multi-generational, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural board of Community Editors, celebrated 10 years in 2016 with a Retrospective Edition and is a five-time Midwest Book Award winner. The Almanac is influential in lifting diverse voices that tell the city’s authentic story. In addition to their annual publication, the Almanac is a catalyst for innovative artist-led projects like the story mobile and IMPRESSIONS, which published poetry combined with art on the Green Line and Metro Transit buses.
- Brian Horst, B Horst Productions, for a 2016 Hometown Hero award. In 2004, Horst launched Music in Mears, which grew from four shows in its inaugural year to now 12 shows a season. In 2016, it expanded to the other end of town with Rhythm in Rice on Friday nights in Rice Park. This year, the vision expanded to include music and craft beer at the Kellogg Park Craft Beer Overlook. Annually, Horst works tirelessly to find sponsors and secure musical acts for these great Saint Paul events.
- Mayor Chris Coleman, City of Saint Paul, for a 2016 Hometown Hero award. During Coleman’s time as mayor, he brought the annual Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championships to Saint Paul, advocated for the beautifully renovated Palace Theatre, invited new restaurants to open throughout the city, continued to support tourism events and filmed pitch videos for, and greeted, meeting planners. After a 12-year run as mayor of Saint Paul, the city is a better tourism destination now than when Coleman first walked into office due to his passion, work and determination for making Saint Paul a welcoming place for visitors from around the world.
“This is an exciting list of award winners as many not only had a hand in making 2016 great, but many have played major roles in making Saint Paul a great place to visit for years,” said Terry Mattson, President & CEO of Visit Saint Paul and the Saint Paul RiverCentre.
According to Explore Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Revenue, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and the U.S. Travel Association, the Ramsey County travel and tourism industry provided more than $2 billion in direct spending and more than $130 million in state sales taxes in 2015, while employing more than 28,000 people.
To see the 2016 recap video presented at Monday's annual meeting, click here. See and download photos from this Flickr album.
About Visit Saint Paul:
Visit Saint Paul, formerly the Saint Paul Convention & Visitors Authority, was founded in 1927 as the Saint Paul Convention and Visitors Bureau, making it one of the oldest destination marketing organizations in the United States. The mission of the organization is to generate economic growth for Saint Paul by effectively marketing the RiverCentre campus, Saint Paul and the region as a preferred convention and tourism destination. Visit Saint Paul oversees management of the Saint Paul RiverCentre Convention Center and Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium. For more information go to www.visitsaintpaul.com.