Article by Erin Sparks
At the 2010 Goodhue County Economic Development Summit there was a tremendous amount of discussion on continuing to develop and enhance connections between our leisure and hospitality businesses throughout the County. In order to further this discussion and increase opportunity for cooperation within this industry sector, the Goodhue County Economic Development Authority conducted a business retention and expansion (BR&E) survey of the County’s leisure and hospitality businesses. A BR&E survey is designed to “take the pulse” of a sector of business, as well as, identify any red-flag issues affecting the retention or expansion of the businesses within that sector. The results of the survey, as reported at the 2011 Goodhue County Economic Development Summit, identified the difficulties facing Goodhue County’s leisure and hospitality businesses, and outlined a strategy to promote stability and growth in that sector now and into the future.
A major part of the strategy identified the need to create a county-wide marketing plan to promote the County’s key tourist attractions and the area as a whole. So in 2011 the Goodhue County EDA enlisted the help of Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA) to create the Goodhue County Tourism Marketing Strategy. The plan, which focuses on three key elements – collaboration, education and promotion, was sent out to city and county leaders in 2011 for review and discussion.