Tourists urged to rediscover Minot

Jill Schramm/MDN A hotel sign welcomes Canadians. Visit Minot has targeted Canada with its marketing efforts.

Visit Minot wants Canadians and conference planners to know that Minot has more to offer than they might think.

Phyllis Burckhard, executive director at Visit Minot, said the tourism bureau is looking to bring back Canadian traffic and conventions that haven’t been in the city for a while by letting them know that Minot isn’t the city it used to be. It’s a lot more.

Following the flood and during the oil boom, the difficulty in finding a hotel room led many tourists to look elsewhere. Minot’s small, crowded airport and flooded zoo and parks also depressed the tourism market.

Burckhard said Visit Minot is taking every opportunity to let people know that hotel rooms are readily available these days, even during major events, with more than 30 hotels, old and new, in the city. The zoo is back in operation and parks have been restored. Meanwhile, shopping opportunities have expanded with more stores and restaurants and more to see and do downtown.

Minot also has an expanded Maysa Arena for the enjoyment of hockey enthusiasts and more for families with the recent addition of a Children’s Discovery Center. A new airport terminal served by three airlines and offering ample parking has changed the face of Minot air travel.

Minot’s changes often are news to Canadians, who may not have visited the city for a while, Burckhard said. Visit Minot partners with Minot’s hotels, the North Dakota State Fair and Norsk Hostfest to operate booths at events in Canada, where Minot can tell its story.

“We are just showcasing Minot to show we do now have these facilities available,” Burckhard said. “It’s been very successful for us.”

Visit Minot also is reaching out to groups that once held conventions in the city to entice them back.

“The general consensus is people really love Minot,” Burckhard said. They report positive experiences in the past and just need to be informed that Minot has facilities to accommodate them again, she said.

Many organizations are booked out elsewhere for upcoming conventions, and Canadians still must deal with an unattractive exchange rate. However, Burckhard is optimistic Visit Minot will see the results of its efforts in coming years.