Duluth tourism boom translates to local business development

By KBJR News 1

December 26, 2013 Updated Dec 26, 2013 at 10:24 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Events like Grandma's Marathon and the Bayfront Blues Festival have been stimulating the hotel business in the Northland for years.

So to accommodate that growth, the Twin Ports may be seeing some new lodging in the near future.

The 68-room Park Point Marina Inn Hotel, being built in downtown Duluth, is set to open by May, 2014.

"It'll be another option for people down in Canal Park to just come down and relax," said David Riddle, general manager of the hotel.

While a proposed 96-room La Quinta Inn and Suites Hotel as well as an 80-room Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites would be built near Miller Hill Mall, serving travelers from the nearby Duluth International Airport as well as shoppers at the Miller Hill Mall.

"It'll give them an opportunity to market to a different brand of people who just want to come to shop," said Gene Shaw of Visit Duluth.

...and if all three hotels are built, they will bring an additional 244 guest rooms to the area.

"People are coming up and they're having difficulty finding a place to stay," said Shaw.

...difficulty finding places to stay because big events like Grandma's Marathon and the Tall Ships continue to attract more and more people to the Twin Ports.

But it's not only summer events sparking tourism in the area.

"People are coming up to go skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, ice fishing," said Shaw.

Others just come to enjoy the water and events downtown... making the Park Point Marina Inn Hotel their best option.

"Beautiful views, beautiful balconies, every room has a balcony. Just a gorgeous, gorgeous setting," said Terry Anderson, owner of the Park Point Marina Inn Hotel.

...all in an effort to fill the needs of a growing tourism industry.

The La Quinta Inn and Suites Hotel would be built on Maple Grove road, next to the Floor to Ceiling store north of Miller Trunk Highway.

Elsa Robins