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Meet Minneapolis Celebrates the Positive Impact of Tourism at its 2019 Annual Meeting

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February 26, 2019
Minneapolis (Feb. 26, 2019) – Today, Meet Minneapolis unveiled its year-end figures at its 2019 Annual Meeting. The city’s convention and visitors’ bureau exceeded its key performance goals including convention center revenue, hotel room nights, and private revenue. While sharing these insights with partner businesses, elected officials and other attendees, Meet Minneapolis President and CEO Melvin Tennant highlighted the positive impact tourism has on the region.

“Our responsibility is to bring visitors to the city, in part, through the more than 600 events Meet Minneapolis secures annually. Yet our impact reaches far beyond that,” explained Tennant. “These events and visitors add millions of dollars in tax revenue for the city to reinvest into the community.”

Tennant continued, “Our work also plays a significant role in supporting the more than 36,000 tourism and hospitality jobs and careers in our city, from hotel workers, printers, and event planners to retailers, transportation providers and more. The hospitality industry provides everything from part-time, flexible work to family-sustaining careers with upward mobility and growth. Tourism matters and is an economic engine that adds to the vibrancy of our city and region.”

Meet Minneapolis Key Performance Indicators for 2018*
  • Group Room Nights: 560,681 nights, or 107% of the goal set for 2018
  • Minneapolis Convention Center Revenue: A record-setting year, with revenue of $22.6 million, eclipsing the goal of $20 million by 112%
  • Private Revenue: $2.9 million, 113% of the stated goal of $2.6 million

The City of Minneapolis and local hotels benefit from the work of Meet Minneapolis. In 2018, the overall hotel occupancy rate was nearly 71 percent. That was an increase from 68.6 percent in 2017, even with the addition of more than 1,400 new rooms between 2016 and 2018. Lodging taxes, alone, generated more than $8 million for the city and local residents. Those tax dollars become city resources to be reinvested into the community.

Minneapolis Convention Center

As the foundation of the hospitality industry in Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Convention Center generated $22.6 million in record revenue in 2018. In addition, the Minneapolis Convention Center was one of only five venues honored with the Venue Excellence award from the International Association of Venue Managers. The award goes to the best managed stadiums, arenas, and convention centers in North America.

“The Minneapolis Convention Center is the gateway to the City of Minneapolis for the hundreds of thousands of people who attend the events we host,” said Minneapolis Executive Director Jeff Johnson. “Visitors start here, and then they move deeper into the community, experiencing the city, spending their dollars and supporting the jobs and businesses of people in every part of Minneapolis.”

Impact on community:
  • Support over 8,600 jobs of the more than 36,000 hospitality jobs in Minneapolis
  • Overall attendance for 2018 was nearly 840,000, a 3% increase over 2017
  • Approximately 796 tons of waste was recycled in 2018, 164 more tons than the previous year
  • Annual recycling rate of 60%

Additional Highlights:
  • Sports Minneapolis highlighted its major role in bringing key sports events to the region such as last year’s Super Bowl LII, X Games, WNBA All-Star Game, and the NCAA® Women’s Volleyball Championship.
  • Seventy (70) future sporting events were secured by Sports Minneapolis in 2018 including:
    • Extension of ESPN’s X Games for 2019 and 2020
    • 2019 USA Taekwondo National Championships
    • 2021 NCAA® Men’s Basketball Regional
    • 2022 NCAA® Women’s Final Four
    • Extension of the Northern Lights Junior Volleyball Qualifier Tournament through 2022
  • Neighborhoods were front-and-center of the re-launched Meet Minneapolis website (, which was visited by more than 2 million people last year.
  • More than a dozen new website guides introduce visitors to places they should know, like the Midwest Global Market on Lake Street, the Cedar Cultural Center in Cedar Riverside and Sammy’s on West Broadway.
  • Over 62,000 visitors from 64 countries and all 50 states stopped into the Meet Minneapolis Visitor Center, located in the Centerpoint Energy building at 5th and Nicollet, last year to learn more on where to eat, shop and be entertained.

Awards and Recognition
Meet Minneapolis is pleased to recognize the following groups and individuals:
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Presented to John Edman, Director, Explore Minnesota
  • Innovation in Tourism Award – Presented to an individual or organization that contributes to an advancement of the hospitality community that impacts the destination’s visitors and attendees.
    • Award recipients: Greater MSP and the Metropolitan Airports Commission for work to secure new international nonstop airline routes through the Regional Air Service Partnership.
  • President’s Award – Honors and individual or organization that contributes significantly to the visitor experience in Minneapolis.
    • Award recipients: The Minnesota Lynx and Minnesota Timberwolves for bringing the best in women’s professional basketball to Minneapolis for the WNBA All-Star game.
  • Excellence in Meetings, Events & Conventions Award – Highlights an individual, institution or organization whose efforts will result in an impact to the city for future years.
    • Award recipient: Northern Lights Junior Volleyball, which brought nearly 680 teams to the city for a six-day competition. An estimated 50,000 people attended.

To learn more about how tourism and hospitality impact, our community, watch here. To access the 2018 Meet Minneapolis Annual Report, please go here.

* Unaudited. Key performance indicators are verified by an independent auditor.


Meet Minneapolis is a private, not-for-profit, member-based association. It actively promotes and sells the Minneapolis area as a destination for conventions and meetings, works to maximize the visitor experience and markets the city as a desirable tourist destination to maximize the economic benefit to the greater Minneapolis area.

Meet Minneapolis is accredited by the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) of Destinations International.
Kim Insley, Public Relations & Communications Manager
(612) 767-8118