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Conference Focuses on Tourism Partnerships


MARCH 4, 2005--"Building Tourism in the Scenic St. Croix Valley Collaboration and Partnership; Work Smarter, Not Harder" is the theme for a conference sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Regional Tourism Alliance on April 5 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in New Richmond, Wis.

Tourism is a vital economic force generating nearly $20 billion in economic impact in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The St. Croix Valley of Wisconsin and Minnesota has an array of natural, cultural and historic resources drawing tens of thousands of visitors from near and far each year.

Conference speakers include Explore Minnesota Tourism Director John Edman and Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary Jim Holperin.

Topics covered include regional partnerships among agencies and tourism groups, customer service and industry trends. The day begins with a continental breakfast and networking session at 8 a.m. followed by a keynote at 9:15 a.m. by Craig Schowalter, owner of Business Plans, Etc., who will discuss the benefits of optimizing tourism through agency partnerships.

Schowalter embodies entrepreneurial spirit. He assists businesses with large-scale economic development plans through his company Business Plans, Etc. in Washburn, Wis. He also owns and operates South Shore Rowing Center, which is also in Washburn. Additionally, Schowalter has created a system of weight loss and lifestyle change in a program, Positive Pursuits.

Conference participants can choose two of four morning sessions:
•"Working with Your State Tourism Department." Presenters for this session are Ruth Goetz from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and Gayle Junnila from Explore Minnesota Tourism.
• "Hiking, Camping and Fishing in the St. Croix River Valley," presented by Jill Medland and John Weinberg from the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway and Nancy Frank from Ice Age Park and Trail Foundation.
• "Off the Beaten Path: St. Croix Valley Sidetrips," Presented by Sheryl E-Marshall from PressEnter! and Linda Bowlby-Kinders from Moonshadow Design.
• "Enhancing Your Website," presented by John Kuehl, Wisconsin Department of Tourism and Shelly Hill, Front Porch Web Solutions.

During a working lunch, SCVRTA President Mark Kinders will discuss trends and challenges to economic development and tourism in the bi-state river region, which is home to the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway and six state parks within minutes of St. Paul/Minneapolis. New Richmond Mayor David Schnitzler will also contribute to this session.

Afternoon sessions will focus on tourism collaboration between Minnesota and Wisconsin, presented by Explore Minnesota Director John Edman and Wisconsin Department of Tourism secretary Jim Holperin.

The conference concludes with an activity session on "Unexpected Partnership Possibilities" and a wine, cheese and chocolate reception at the Bell-Tierney Farmhouse at the New Richmond Heritage Center, across the street from WITC.

Registration by March 31 is requested by contacting the New Richmond Chamber of Commerce, 235 S. Knowles, New Richmond, WI 54017, 715/246-2900 or 800/654-6380.

Cost is $35 for SCVRTA members and $45 for non-members. Display booths are available $35 for SCVRTA members and $75 for non-members. Participants are welcome to bring materials for a shared display table as well.

The conference is sponsored by SCVRTA, a regionally and nationally recognized marketing collaborative of 19 communities spanning the Lower St. Croix in Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix counties in Wisconsin and Dakota, Washington and Chisago counties in Minnesota.
The conference is at WITC's Cashman Conference Center, located south of downtown New Richmond at 1019 Knowles Avenue (Highway 65) across from the AmericInn Hotel. Participants can park in the Cashman Conference Center parking lot.

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Last updated: Tuesday, 22-Jun-2010 16:21:20 Central Daylight Time

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