Messages from the President
New Location Presents New Opportunities
By: Anna Tanski | June 12, 2017
Last December, when Minnesota Power shared expansion plans for its clean energy division, Visit Duluth learned we’d need to relocate our business office and visitor center. We thoroughly enjoyed being MP’s tenant the past 13 years and were a bit anxious how the relationship with a new landlord would develop.
With change comes opportunity, especially for an organization that’s existed since 1935. Of course there were moves over the decades, but perhaps the most notable came in 1986, when the building literally moved, as our new headquarters, Endion Station, was trucked from 16th Avenue East to where it resides today in Canal Park.
A prime waterfront location well positioned for future development of the Lakewalk, forthcoming hotels and refurbished warehouses into dining, retail and office space. Endion’s historic charm made it valuable real estate for the City owned building, which ultimately led to the decision to market it to the private sector.
That resulted in Visit Duluth’s relocation to Superior Street in 2004. The staff had been bursting at the seams in Endion, with the finance director using a converted closet with the door removed and tight cubicles in exceptionally close quarters. The Superior Street office offered a large conference room and ample square footage inherited from the previous tenant, Lakehead Pipeline. A positive outcome provided by change.
With a June 1 deadline, our search for new space began, producing eight potential sites. Using the visitors perspective, we sought a central location that provided easy access, increased visibility and a smaller footprint. With a custom build out, we could “right size” our space and decrease by 1500 square feet. It wasn’t an easy decision because of the tremendous potential each site offered. What a great problem to have!
After weighing the options, the Holiday Center on Superior Street in the heart of downtown was selected. We’re occupying a portion of the former Brownie Furniture and because the space was designed to suit our specifications, Visit Duluth has a functional work environment that’s just the right fit.
Last year Visit Duluth closed our seasonal visitor center in the Vista Fleet and consolidated that service into our main headquarters. Another change that provided an expansion opportunity for the Vista Fleet and increased efficiency and cost savings for Visit Duluth. Win-win.
We’ve only been in the new office a few days but walk in traffic is bustling just as we anticipated. Direct access to the skywalk system and a high profile location makes it easier for visitors to find us. We hope this increased activity generates more customers for neighboring businesses in the Holiday Center and spurs additional development in the remaining space available next door.
The detailed logistics and planning were significant , as were the associated costs. However, the end result is more than worth it. Our new location provides new opportunities for us to better serve the visitor and the community. Stop in and see us at 225 W. Superior Street, #110.