Study Suggests Mining and Tourism Successes Complement Each Other

April 18, 2017 10:09 PM

Instead of being in an adversarial relationship, mining and tourism should support one another. That's according to a new study just released in time for the SME Conference.

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Whether it's watching the ore boats sail under the Aerial Lift Bridge, or visiting a mine view on the Range, tourism is often linked to mining in our region.

But lately, the debate raging over the proposed copper-nickel projects has lead to an "us versus them" mentality.

Mark Schill, the author of a just released study about mining and tourism, said that should not be the case.

"We don't need this negative dialogue. They do not need to be adversaries," he explained.

Schill is the Vice President for research for Praxis Strategy Group. He took federal data to compare both mining jobs and tourism jobs.

"Both are very different, but are complementary. Certainly mining contributes to tourism activity. It brings people here. The good paying jobs, help drive business at our establishments around the region. And the tourism industry helps make the region a great place to live. In turn, helps mining by drawing skilled people into the region."

The study said that mining supports 5,140 jobs, with wages of $81,500 a year. Tourism jobs numbered 6,400, with wages of $18,000. Schill acknowledged that many of the tourism jobs are part time, which is why the wage is lower.

Mining Minnesota commissioned this new study. But it has similar numbers and themes to the one commissioned recently by the Friends of the Boundary Waters, which said, "outdoor recreation and nature tourism....can play a very complementary role in balanced regional development."

Schill will be presenting highlights of this study at the SME Conference in Duluth on Wednesday.

If you want to take a look yourself:


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