Updated: June 08, 2021 08:37 PM
Created: June 08, 2021 04:28 PM
The epicenter of entertainment in Duluth is slowly but surely coming back to life and soon, it will have a new leader, who laid out his priorities at a Chamber of Commerce Luncheon Tuesday.
“A lot of the past leaders have done a lot of work to make the DECC this great community center that it is today and I’m excited to continue that effort forward,” Dan Hartman, the DECC’s incoming Executive Director said.
Hartman said he intends to bring entertainment back to the DECC and added that already, there are about 40 events on their schedule, including sporting events, recitals and various conventions.
“The entertainment part is coming back in a big way,” Hartman said.
According to Hartman, they are also looking to hire for a number of positions. This comes after the pandemic forced the DECC to shut down for several months and eliminate around 400 jobs last year.
As health outcomes continue to look up, Hartman said he looks forward to taking over for Interim Executive Director Roger Reinert, who helped carry the DECC through the pandemic by working with health officials to transform it into a COVID-19 testing and vaccination site.
“This last year is a great example of how the DECC is really that community space. It was there in kind of, that time of emergency and you saw that crystal clear during this crisis and I think the DECC will continue to have that role,” Hartman said.
Hartman's previous experience comes from working as the Director of Glensheen Mansion for eight years. During that time, he helped double the amount of visitors the mansion saw per year from 60,000 to 140,000.
"During that time, we really kind of changed the way people viewed that space," Hartman said. "I think that big change is a lot of the reason I was picked for this big role."
He officially steps into his new role on Monday.
“I think you’re going to see Duluth be a great tourism city this coming summer and I’m excited to be a part of that mix,” Hartman said.