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MEET MINNEAPOLIS HONORS AWARD RECIPIENTS, UNVEILS TOURISM MASTER PLAN AT ITS 2017 ANNUAL MEETING


Meet Minneapolis, Convention and Visitors Association, announced the recipients of its annual awards at the 2017 Meet Minneapolis Annual Meeting on March 2 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. With more than 530 partners, elected officials and other guests in attendance, Meet Minneapolis highlighted a milestone year for hospitality in Minneapolis and unveiled the city's first-ever tourism master plan, Destination Transformation 2030.
 
Meet Minneapolis announced that for the first time ever, it booked more than 600,000 future hotel room nights, including both group and tourism stays. The city also achieved a new record number of hospitality jobs, with 33,468 people working in the industry in Minneapolis, which accounts for 10 percent of the total jobs in the city. Meet Minneapolis hosted 646 events in 2016, and the Minneapolis Convention Center welcomed 749,760 attendees to its events.
 
The city's new tourism master plan, launched at the meeting, is the culmination of a year of planning work. During 2016, the Meet Minneapolis team gathered research from meeting planners, visitors, travel writers, residents and stakeholders, engaging more than 3,000 participants. To see the plan, visit Minneapolis.org/DT2030.
 
We had a very successful 2016, said Meet Minneapolis President and CEO Melvin Tennant.  With our city going through a major transformation, and with the mega events coming our way, now is the time to leverage our success to make sure we make longer-term gains in tourism. That's why we're launching Destination Transformation 2030, to give us a roadmap to the future of tourism in Minneapolis. And when we make the city a better destination for visitors, we make it a better place for all of us who live here, too."

MINNEAPOLIS HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY AWARDS

At its annual meeting, Meet Minneapolis announced its award recipients and thanked them for their outstanding efforts within the Minneapolis hospitality industry:
 
-       The Innovation in Tourism Award went to the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, the City of Minneapolis and the Minnesota Vikings, for their roles in making U.S. Bank Stadium a reality.  
-       The Excellence in Meetings, Events & Conventions Award went to Eckankar, which has held its Eck Worldwide Seminar at the Minneapolis Convention Center for many years, and which has been a strong partner of Meet Minneapolis and the center.

-       The President's Award was presented to Jayne Miller, superintendent of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, which has been recognized as being the #1 park system in the United States four years in a row by Park Score. Miller was also instrumental in Meet Minneapolis' successful effort to bring an international urban park conference to the city.

-       The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Steve Schuster, former executive chef and culinary director for Kelber Catering, who retired last year. Kelber is the exclusive caterer for the Minneapolis Convention Center, and Schuster played a key role in serving visitors over his 27 years with the company.
 
Meet Minneapolis also recognizes a hospitality industry professional in Minneapolis once per quarter as a Hospitality Hero.

Previously honored for 2016 were Bernard Asante, M-Club attendant at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center; Kefle Callender, van driver at the DoubleTree by Hilton Minneapolis Park Place; and Samson Desta, room service attendant at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis. Meet Minneapolis announced the fourth quarter 2016 recipient at the annual meeting, recognizing Metro Transit Police for working tirelessly to keep visitors and locals safe as they use our public transit system.
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