From: Mike Kennedy
In an apparent attempt at humor, Paul B. Double, a newly-elected Winona City Council representative, casts a cover of ignorance over the growing pile of evidence that tourism in Winona and overall Southeastern Minnesota is an economic boom that is just beginning to develop to its true potential. His depiction of indoor events is way out of sync with the overall assets that our community has to offer visitors. The fantastic opportunities that our rare and scenic location offers to the outdoor enthusiasts is so varied that many fast developing silent sports people consider us the ultimate destination.
The State of Minnesota Office of Tourism (Explore Minnesota) has repeatedly acknowledged the leadership by Visit Winona in marketing and attracting tourism visitors to our many natural and produced year-round attractions. The obesity epidemic in America is real, as he infers. The outdoor events held in Winona are becoming nationwide successes due to the consistent quality of our environment and the dedicated individuals that voluntarily organize them every year. The “vigorous activity” necessary to compete is often nearly matched by the viewing crowds and their love of that sport.
The many arts, theater, music and historical events that he chides, offer the mental and emotional exercise that the audience experiences to prevent the other, more political form of obesity, or what is commonly called a fat head. Both types of this epidemic can only be cured by education and involvement for self awareness and a healthy sustainable lifestyle.
I would encourage Mr. Double to double down and be part of the solution in his new leadership role.