Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism CEO/President Nort Johnson was very excited when they received two Destination Marketing Awards.  The 2020 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference was held last night in Alexandria at Arrowhead Resort.

Johnson told KDHL/POWER 96 he was proud the Faribault Chamber was chosen for a Branding and Integrated Marketing Campaign featuring "Making American Stories."  He said building upon historic downtown Faribault was the idea.  Hoping not just to get people to stop by Faribault for a brief tourist visit but discover other great things about the community.

The Special Project Award also went to the Minne-Roadtrip joint effort by Faribault, Northfield and Owatonna.  It's the second time in three years the Minne-Roadtrip was recognized by Explore Minnesota.

The Montgomery Commercial Club received an award for Niche Targeting.  Approximately 250 attendees from around the state attended the annual conference, including representatives of convention and visitors bureaus and other tourism organizations.  Hotels, resorts, campgrounds, a variety of attractions had representatives in attendance also.

Outstanding Individual in Tourism award went to Marianna Khauv, owner of Best Western Chelsea Inn and Suites in Monticello for her decades of work in the hospitality industry and contributions on behalf of the Minnesota tourism industry.  Khauv served on the board of directors for both the Monticello Chamber of Commerce and Minnesota Lodging Association.  She is also a active member of the Explore Minnesota Tourism Council, which is appointed by the Governor.

The "Tourism Rising Star" award went to Kjersti Vick, marketing and public relations director for Visit Cook County.  Additional awards announced included:

  • Tourism Trailblazer Award:  Ottertail County
  • New Event of the Year:  2019 World Ploughing Competition, Lake of the Woods
  • New Event Award of Merit:  Warroad's October Festival
  • Only in Minnesota Icon Award:  Saint Paul Winter Carnival
  • Marketing Partner of the Year:  Lake of the Woods Brewing Company
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