What's New in March, 2019

Your ideas are the best ideas!

One of Experience Rochester's primary purposes is to provide resources that will help Rochester's visitors navigate our city more easily. Visitors need to select the most convenient hotel, choose where to dine, find things to do, find their way to their medical appointments, and much more. We at Experience Rochester work every day to create resources--including our website, our social media channels, our travel planner, our lodging guide, and much more--that help answer visitors' questions.
But now I'd like to make an appeal to YOU, our frontline hospitality professionals.  What are common questions YOU get asked by visitors? What additional resources can Experience Rochester create that YOU think would help our visitors? Please email me at mgastner@minnesotasrochester.com with your ideas; I would love to hear from you!

Mary Gastner
Interim Executive Director
Experience Rochester MN    

Local Events

Mar. 1 - Wines of the World
Mar. 2 - Cadybeth Women's Expo
Mar. 7 - Ladies Night Out
Mar. 11 - Cat Video Fest
Mar. 16 - 17 - Home & Lifestyles Show
Mar. 22 - Cherish the Ladies
Mar. 23 - MercyMe's Imagine Nation
Mar. 23 - Stayin' Alive: One Night of the Bee Gees
Mar. 23 - Rochester Thaw Festival
Mar. 24 - Townsend Antique Flea Market
Mar. 29 - Harlem Globetrotters
 

Who's Coming

Mar. 1 - 3 - Varsity Cheer & Dance Competition 
1,000 attendees, Mayo Civic Center
Mar. 3 - 7 - MN USA Folkstyle Wrestling State Tournament 
4,000 attendees, RCTC
Mar. 16 - 17 - Mayo Clinic Plasma Cell Disorder Symposium
500 attendees, Mayo Civic Center
Mar. 8 - 10 - Trilogy Dance Competition
300 attendees, Mayo Civic Center
Mar. 14 - 17 - USA Swimming Speedo Section Championships 
2,000 attendees, Rochester Recreation Center

View our Convention Calendar.

Industry Updates

Hospitality First is Back: Join Us!

The Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce and Experience Rochester invite all hospitality workers (restaurants, hotels, retail, transportation, attractions) to join the first meeting of the re-launched Hospitality First group tomorrow (Feb. 28) at noon in the Chamber's boardroom. This will be a roundtable discussion over lunch. RACC and ER hope to hear from attendees about how you would like ER and RACC to structure future meetings to meet your needs.  Please RSVP to Kathleen Harrington at kharrington@rochestermnchamber.com. We hope to see you there!

Advocate for What Matters to Your Business at Hospitality & Tourism Days at the Capitol 

Please consider attending Hospitality & Tourism Days at the Capitol. This year, Hospitality Minnesota has scheduled a series of four days at the Capitol to coincide with key policy deadlines. Attendees are asked to limit their registration to one of these four days: March 12, March 14, March 19, or March 21. Appointments with your senator and representative will be made by Hospitality Minnesota. Find more information and register. Also, March 11 is the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce's Day at the Capitol. Learn more about this event.

Experience Rochester & DMC Win Tourism Awards

Experience Rochester and Destination Medical Center's Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA) both earned awards from Explore Minnesota Tourism at its annual conference in St. Paul earlier this month. Experience Rochester won the "Special Projects" award for its website, minnesotasrochester.com, which was redesigned in 2018. DMC EDA was awarded the "Marketing Partner of the Year." DMC EDA was nominated by Experience Rochester. Read the news release

Explore Rochester: Things to Do, Places to Go

Rochester in the Spotlight  

Experience Rochester, with the assistance of several of our valued hotel and restaurant partners, hosted three social media influencers for overnight stays during SocialICE weekend. The influencers created and distributed social media posts, videos and blog articles about Rochester to their thousands of social media followers in the state and Midwest. Their coverage was valuable in positioning Rochester as top destination for a weekend getaway or leisure travel. For snippets of their work, view a video created by "Girl of 10,000 Lakes" and a blog post by "Look About Lindsey." Thank you to Centerstone Plaza, DoubleTree by Hilton, Home2 Suites, Bleu Duck Kitchen, Terza, and others for helping create wonderful visits for these individuals.

Win Big at Team-Friendly Restaurants

Lots of sports teams and fans are in Rochester this time of year. Direct them to six team-friendly restaurants where even the heartiest athletic appetites will be satisfied.  

Pet Paradise

Helping a visitor who has brought a pet to town? Assure them that the furry members of their family are welcome in Minnesota's Rochester, and direct them to our guide to boarders, groomers and dog parks

Join our Visitor Experience Efforts

New businesses open their doors

We are pleased to welcome some wonderful new additions to our hospitality community. Welcome to That's How We Roll ice cream and addiecakes boutique dessert shop, both located at Apache Mall. Also, the second-floor businesses at the Castle Community have opened, including Collective Books & Records, Queen City Coffee & Juice, and Neon Green Studio.  
 
Welcome, new Certified Tourism Ambassadors! 

Congratulations to these new CTAs who earned their certificates in February: Andrew Durand, Groome Transportation; Abby Ingram, Mayo Civic Center; Janet Lensing, Mayo Clinic; Tierney Lensing, The Homestead at Rochester; Cassie Scrabeck, Mayo Clinic.
 

CTA Updates

  * Thank you to the CTAs who attended the Empathic Communication presentation on Feb. 26, led by Tim Mildbrandt from the Office of Patient Experience at Mayo Clinic. Attendees learned about positive ways to connect with their customers/guests and practiced empathic listening skills through service-oriented case scenarios.
  * Experience Rochester is seeking ideas for upcoming CTA events. Please email Keeley Hruska at khruska@minnesotasrochester.com with your ideas for events that will broaden CTAs' knowledge of things to do and places to go in the community.   
  * Does your company offer any freebies or discounts you'd like to promote on the CTA website? This is a great way to get people in your door, build attendance, and get CTAs talking! You can offer BOGO, free admission, a generous discount, or another deal. We will feature it in multiple locations, including on our closed CTA Facebook group and on the ctanetwork.com site.

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