Our Impact

What is Experience Rochester MN?

The Rochester Convention & Visitors Bureau was renamed Experience Rochester MN in 2018. Experience Rochester MN is the destination marketing organization (DMO) for Rochester, Minnesota. Destination marketing organizations are not-for-profit organizations charged with representing a specific destination and helping the long-term development of communities through a travel and tourism strategy. DMOs like Experience Rochester MN bring together businesses that rely on tourism and meetings for revenue.

For visitors, DMOs are like a key to the city. As an unbiased resource, DMOs can serve as a broker or an official point of contact for convention and meeting planners, tour operators and visitors. They assist planners with meeting preparation and encourage business travelers and visitors alike to visit local historic, cultural and recreational sites.

Funding for DMOs, including Experience Rochester MN, comes from a local lodging tax that is collected from visitors staying in local hotels. The current lodging tax in Rochester is 7%, 2% of which funds 100% of Experience Rochester MN's efforts and operations.

Experience Rochester MN is governed by a Board of Directors which normally meets on the first Tuesday of each month at noon. If you have any business for the Experience Rochester MN Board of Directors, please contact Brad Jones, Executive Director.

The mission of Experience Rochester MN is to stimulate economic growth through visitor spending with aggressive sales, marketing, partnerships and destination development strategies while facilitating the best possible visitor experience.

What is Rochester MN Sports?

The Rochester Amateur Sports Commission (RASC) was renamed Rochester MN Sports in 2018. Created in 1991 as a 501c3 nonprofit organization, the primary objective of Rochester MN Sports is to promote sports in the Rochester area by attracting athletic events to the city.

Rochester MN Sports works closely with Experience Rochester MN to identify and attract various sports events. While Experience Rochester MN helps to attract the events, it is the responsibility of Rochester MN Sports to organize and administer these events. Experience Rochester MN employs staff who are designated to run the Rochester MN Sports operations. All operation costs are the responsibility of Rochester MN Sports. Rochester MN Sports is committed to attracting sports events that will generate an economic impact in the community.

Why are meetings, sports and tourism important?

Travel and tourism enhances the quality of life for a local community by providing jobs, bringing in tax dollars for improvement of services and infrastructure, and attracting facilities like restaurants, shops, festivals, and cultural and sporting venues that cater to both visitors and locals.

Travel and tourism is one of the world's largest service exports and largest employers. In the United States, 15.3 million jobs are supported by the travel industry. The industry generates $990 billion in direct travel expenditures (2017 US Travel, www.ustravel.org). Indeed, travel and tourism are economic engines and destination marketing organizations are the key drivers.

What is the impact of Rochester meetings, sports, and tourism?

Rochester's hospitality/travel/tourism industry is the community's second largest employer with over 14,400 full-time employees. In 2016, Rochester hosted more than 3 million overnight visitors who spent $478 million in our community's hotels, restaurants, shops and other establishments. The overall estimated economic impact of visitors to Rochester in 2016 was $1.3 billion.

Annual sales efforts for conventions and meetings yielded an estimated $77.5 million return to the City of Rochester in 2016, and sports events generated $25.2 million. The city hosted 358 meetings, conventions and sports events in 2016, attracting more than 289,000 attendees. 

Experience Rochester MN is also a critical partner in delivering an exceptional experience to our unique medical visitor. It has committed resources, time and talent to delivering visitor information to medical visitors, conducting sales and marketing campaigns as well as working with Mayo Clinic and the hospitality industry on initiatives such as Destination Medical Center.

View the Experience Rochester MN 2017 Report to the Community.