Since I've been the chamber director the past couple of years, I've been involved in area tourism organizations and promoted the city as a visitor destination through print and social media. With the Fagen Fighter's WWII Museum , Yellow Medicine County Museum and the Andrew J. Volstead House, we've had an increase in visitors interested in history. In addition to the museums, the Roebling footbridge across the Minnesota River , our scenic downtown, the Dakota homeland and nearby Prairie's Edge Casino all create an opportunity to market our town as a tourism destination. Market trends show that visitors are looking for something unique and different. One of my own goals in the strategic plan would be to develop our existing heritage tourism. The Convention and Visitor's Bureau has already done some marketing and we've seen a large increase in visitors and tours to the Volstead House and the downtown Prohibition Story walking tour. To create a successful heritage tourism destination, local businesses need to all agree and work toward that goal. It also creates a magnet for recruitment in industry and other fields as well. When a town has a fun, creative reputation, people want to live here as well as visit. Local arts, music, the proposed whitewater park would also create a great visitor experience. Shops and restaurants need out of town customers as well as local residents to support them.
This is just one idea among many possibilities, join us and help plan the chamber's direction and focus! If you can't make the meeting, stop into the chamber office or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mary Gillespie, Granite Falls Area Chamber Director