CVB collaboration could help tourism

A little teamwork goes a long way.

Such is the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau’s reasoning. The CVB recently partnered with similar groups in Albert Lea, Faribault and Owatonna to pull in more tourism and accommodate overflow lodgings when one community has a major event.

“The idea originated from one of our CVB board meetings,” said Cheryl Corey, executive director at the Austin CVB.

About a year ago, during an annual retreat, CVB members were talking strategy on how to promote the Austin area. One member brought up the opportunity for partnering work.

It was a concept that had come up before. When Albert Lea had the Red Power Tractor show last year, visitors filled Austin hotels and made local attractions part of their trip. The idea took off, and soon others were suggesting nearby communities that shared a lot in common with Austin.

“We all have museums, we all have theaters, we all have historical centers or historic homes,” Corey said.

The CVB contacted its counterparts in Albert Lea, Faribault and Owatonna. Each was receptive, Corey said, and work started on putting together an online brochure called “Minnesota’s Southern Hospitality Visitor Guide” to showcase the region. The guide is now available on the CVB website at www.austincvb.com.

Right now, the goal is to get visitors from the metro area to come south and take a “loop” through the four communities. Corey said early efforts are looking promising, and the partnering organizations plan to meet again to keep the idea going.

In the future, the Austin CVB and its partners also plan to visit their respective county commissioners and city councils to introduce their idea. Corey will also present the partnership during the next Southern Minnesota Tourism Association meeting. The 36 counties in the SMTA already contain a similar partnership between Wabasha, Winona and Lanesboro.

The partnership does not ignore that nearby communities sometimes compete for visitors and the business they bring.

“Albert Lea and Austin already have rivalries in many areas,” Corey said, adding commerce is no exception. “In that respect, I think there’s some competition.”

At the same time, however, communities within the SMTA work together for the collective goal of bringing visitors to the region, and that’s the main goal, Corey said.

“It’s a win to get them to come to southern Minnesota,” she said. “It’s a regional thing and group mentality.”

Mower County

Physical access leads to dropping of barriers for young athletes

Education

Austin MAAP Stars advisor receives state recognition

Mower County

National Nurses Week: Finding a place exactly where she wanted to be

Mower County

Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea, Austin earns top marks for patient safety

Education

Austin Online Academy receives Star of Innovation Award

Mower County

MnDOT encourages schools, communities to join Bike to School Day

Mower County

Veterans Appreciation Service for Mower County Veterans

Education

Fadness graduates from the U of M School of Dentistry

Mower County

In Your Community: Duplicate Bridge

Mower County

In Your Community: Mower County Senior Center

Agriculture

MnDOT asks motorists, farm equipment operators to safely share the road during planting season

News

How will a warm winter affect spring fishing? What to know before the opener

News

‘A step back in time’: America’s Catholic Church sees an immense shift toward the old ways

News

Israel-Hamas war protests close on a handful of US campuses as arrests exceed 2,300

News

Bills for firearm safe storage, boosting straw buyer penalties pass in Minnesota House

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Convictions: April 22-29

News

Minnesota sports betting bill runs afoul of partisan rancor over state senator’s burglary arrest

News

US employers scaled back hiring in April. How that could let the Fed cut interest rates

Mower County

McGruder gets over 30 years in prison for the shooting death of TyEsha Gills

Mower County

Page Turners event holds City Wide Read’s culminating reception

Mower County

Austin, Pacelli students honored for academic excellence at Hormel hosted luncheon

Mower County

Election judges being sought ahead of elections

News

Minnesota child care providers say state licensing needs an overhaul. Officials agree

Mower County

NextEra puts a hold on Timberwolf Solar Project