I believe that tourism is one area of our economy that we've hardly tapped. With our rich history, beautiful location right along the river, casino and camping nearby, so many more visitors could be lured to our town with money to spend in our shops and restaurants. I was a member of the Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway Alliance before I became the Chamber director. I believe in marketing the river valley as a destination with the byway as a fun way to see the interesting sites that you miss when you whiz along a highway. When I became director, I started attending the Southern Minnesota Tourism Association meetings held every second month in different locations in southern Minnesota.

The marketing knowledge from Explore Minnesota Tourism is great information that I wouldn't get elsewhere. The connections made at these meetings often bring surprising results. Last year, one of these two-day meetings was held here in Granite Falls with representatives from Greenspring Publishing in attendance. They stayed at Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort, enjoyed the Prohibition Story walking tour and ate dinner at Bootlegger’s Supper Club.

Greenspring also publishes Minnesota Monthly magazine and recently sent one of their travel writers to Granite Falls. The article by Berit Thorkelson was published in the most recent issue, both in print and online. You can find it on their website. http://www.minnesotamonthly .com/Travel-Outdoors/ Minnesota-Travel-Regions/ Southern Minnesota/Granite-Falls-is-Rock-Steady/

Travel writers can also be enticed to visit our town with free motel stays, Chamber Bucks to spend, etc. It's something that's done often by Chambers and CVBs .Studies show that getting a travel writer or blogger to write an article is more effective than a paid advertisement.

In September, 2018, the Southern Minnesota Tourism Association will meet again in Granite Falls, hosted by the Chamber. 

I'm skipping over the alphabet a bit for the Chamber member of the week since they're also our newest member. Welcome to the Chamber Connect Hearing, located at 761 Prentice St., Suite 3. The Granite Falls Connect Hearing Clinic offers a no-cost hearing screening. Connect Hearing is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

A week from today is Halloween, Granite Falls businesses will have trick and treat from 4 to 5:30. Dress up like Andrew or Laura Volstead for a chance to win $50 in chamber bucks, contest at the Volstead House at 7 p.m. where trick and treating will continue until 8 p.m.