Visit Duluth reacts to tourism proposal changes

Visit Duluth reacts to tourism proposal changes

DULUTH, MN– Visit Duluth leaders and local business leaders meet to discuss new tourism changes.

Mayor Larson announced the City wants to use Bellmont, a Twin Cities marketing company to promote Duluth tourism.

Mayor Larson offered Bellmont Partners a $1.8 million contract to take over tourism marketing in Duluth.

Larson offered Visit Duluth a $400,000 contract to work on sales and event planning.

Visit Duluth President Anna Tanski said the new proposal would only allow the company to maintain two full-time positions, eliminating four full-time positions and several other staff jobs.

“This is about much more than the few jobs that are here at Visit Duluth,” Tanski said. “This is really about supporting an industry that we need to restore and continue to invest in.”

Tony Bronson, President of the Duluth Local Restaurant Association and Director of Business Development with the Grandma’s Corporation said city leaders have not asked for the feedback of business owners.

“Any of the people who are going to be most directly impacted by the decisions being made seem to be the ones that aren’t at the table – don’t have a voice in the process,” Bronson said.

“This seems like another instance of City Hall seeming to know better than everybody else.”

Larson said Bellmont had the ‘best pitch’ from an application process.

Larson needs City Council support to move forward with the new proposal, which is on the agenda for Monday’s meeting.

The meeting will be open for public comment virtually.