Visit Minot will continue having to rebuild after lull

Minot Daily News wishes Phyllis Burckhard, now former Visit Minot executive director well in the next phase of her career and in her continued efforts in other capacities in helping promote the city she loves and has served through her Visit Minot position for the past five years.

In an exit interview with MDN in Friday’s paper, Burckhard described some of the challenges Visit Minot has faced in recent years.

Those challenges will continue for the foreseeable future and will be faced by whomever supplants Burckhard. The organization overall faces a rebuilding effort that stems less from any internal issues that might exist than from circumstances beyond anyone’s control.

Event attraction and planning is done on a long-range basis, often years in advance of the actual event. Certainly for large major events, it takes effort, the right amenities and plenty of time to pitch a market and secure an agreement.

Two events set Minot’s efforts back. First was the 2011 flood and its ramifications, some of which are still being felt today. The flood didn’t only affect events for the remainder of 2011, or even just 2012, etc. With the dislocation of so many people and the complexity of rebuilding, it simply made for an impossible location to market.

Secondly was the Bakken Boom. When rental accommodations were largely occupied by oil field workers, there weren’t the hospitality resources available to host events.

Each event cast a shadow on Visit Minot efforts for years afterward.

Burckhard told MDN that she believes that things have started to turn around and for good reasons. Accommodations are plentiful, there are numerous venues based on the size of the event, the Maysa Arena has been a success, the Parks District has ambitious plans, a children’s museum is in the works, our good zoo continues to get better. So there is good news when it comes to the Minot area’s potential.

Now the challenge will be to bring back events and attractions that traditionally had Minot on their radar and attract new ones at the same time.

Some have expressed the belief that this is an arduous if not impossible task without a centerpiece venue, as opposed to the multiple ones we have now. Perhaps.

Yet it is hard to believe that this one issue has been the key obstacle to attracting events.

Instead, MDN believes the greatest challenge is in overcoming the impact of the two events that have all but shaped Minot over the past eight years. That challenge continues today.

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