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Nolan talks Northland tourism

By: Edward Moody, | May 6, 2015

U.S. Representative Rick Nolan is talking tourism in Duluth, because he says he knows his district. “We like to say up here in northeastern Minnesota our economy is based on the three ts Taconite, timber and tourism,” says the 8th district congressman.

According to Nolan tourism employs about 28,000 people in our area and draws in tens of thousands more visitors. He says “It's vital to the tourism industry to have bridges and highway systems and all of the other infrastructure so we're accessible to people to get here.”

Infrastructure was top of mind for most on the Congressman's tourism panel at the DECC, but another significant issue was the ability to fly into the Northland.

The Duluth Airport Authority faces a dramatic pilot shortage and like other regional airports is losing routes because of it. Meanwhile the Duluth Depot keeps pushing ahead with the Northern Lights Express. Already in its final review process, the last ridership and revenue study should be complete by late July. “The rest of the world is expanding their rapid rail transit and that's what we need to do here as well,” says Nolan.

And perhaps the most forward thinking pitch Nolan heard during the panel was the Duluth Seaway Port Authority's hopes for regular cruise ship service in and out of Duluth. It’s an idea at least 4 to 5 years away.


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