Duluth’s Tourism partnership debate continues with new information from Emily Larson

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Today in the Duluth City Council’s agenda meeting for Monday, Mayor Emily Larson sheds more light on her recommendation to partner with Bellmont Partners and end the long partnership with Visit Duluth.

She had received community backlash in the past week for the recommendation to work with the Minneapolis based organization rather than the local Duluth one. With many people asking what issues did the city see in Visit Duluth.

And Larson answered that question in many ways. First she stated that there was a lot of informal-ness between the city and Visit Duluth "it felt important to depersonalize, and look through the lens of an RFP", says Larson. Wanting professional determinations to get reviewed on their value and not on relationships.

The major second part of conflict was in Visit Duluth’s model. The organization uses a membership model and according to Mayor Larson some entities had trouble with that. "I started hearing… from many entities from the community that were not feeling served by the membership model", says Larson.

You can watch see more of Mayor Larson’s comments on the Duluth City Council website.

And as the decision remains up in the air, local businesses are starting to feel concerned as well. Thursday morning Visit Duluth held and informational meeting. Local businesses leaders attended and even stated that the city didn’t do enough to reach out for business opinions.

And now the decision remains on the agenda for the Duluth City Council to Decide on Monday. However they could table the issue as well. Giving them more time to decide what is right for the city’s tourism.