WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published April 26, 2012, 09:59 PM

Tourism Revenues Increase in Grand Forks, Across ND

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - North Dakota tourism revenue has increased by nearly $930 million in the past ten years. Local hotels are reaping the benefits and some people say it's because Grand Forks has become a "Destination City."

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - North Dakota tourism revenue has increased by nearly $930 million in the past ten years. Local hotels are reaping the benefits and some people say it's because Grand Forks has become a "Destination City."

Tourism officials say the North Dakota Legendary campaign has helped bring more awareness to what the State has to offer.

Locally, The Destination City Initiative is bringing in more people to shop, play and stay in Grand Forks.

Hotels like the Fairfield Inn have seen more travelers unpacking and staying in Grand Forks.

"Typically it's a lot of Canadian travel. We do see a lot of that so it's good for the whole community as far as money, revenue," Fairfield Inn Assistant General Manager Luke Yoney said.

Yoney has worked at the hotel for more than three years.

"I would say from last year to this year, we have seen quite an increase in occupancy," Yoney said.

And the Fairfield Inn is not alone. In the past 10 years the state has recorded a revenue increase of nearly $930 million in the tourism industry.

"For March for example of this year, Smith Travel Research says that our occupancy is at 74-percent, last year for the same month it was at 65-percent, so obviously travel and tourism is growing all over North Dakota," GF Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Julie Rygg said.

The North Dakota Legendary campaign, which started 10 years ago, is said to have helped people become more aware of what the state has to offer. And locally, a different initiative was started.

"I think the efforts show we were pro-active when we instituted the destination city initiative years ago and our council and chamber and business community is very welcoming to our tourism. So I think it speaks well for us. Our sales tax revenues are up quite a bit," Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown said.

Whether it's shopping, taking in the sites, or the oil boom out west bringing travelers through, people are benefiting across the state.

"I'm not surprised by it. I'm very pleased with it because it shows we made good decisions," Brown said.

"I think it's the oil from out west is truly affecting the whole state. It's hard to get a hotel room in like Minot and I think the whole state's seeing that effect," Yoney said.

Hotel and business managers I talked with say they have definitely noticed an increase in people traveling through town, especially in the past couple of years.

Tags: