Among a crowd of top event planning professionals, venues and services, Discover Stillwater received a Minnesota Meetings & Events Magazine reader’s choice award for the Best CVB (Convention & Visitor Bureau) in the category for town/area less than 25,000 population. The event took place at Aria downtown Minneapolis on Thursday evening, March 31st.
Stillwater is a popular location in the state for both weddings and corporate meetings or team outings. There are over 20 venues and many unique experience ideas in Stillwater not to mention, the natural beauty of the scenic byway and river way in a small historic town setting. “Stillwater has so much more than just a boring meeting venue to offer – it’s truly an inspiring destination town for business or leisure events. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to showcase our features on tours to event professionals over the past few years, so this award is a really nice honor!” Christie Rosckes, Discover Stillwater Marketing Director.
Tourism in Stillwater is booming with the CVB in it’s eighth year of existence, the Board of Directors recently reported their highest lodging revenues on record for year-end 2015 with an average increase of 29% since inception. “It’s impressive to know that our organization achieved this without a significant increase in the number of hotel rooms in town.” Tiki Oswald, General Manager at AmericInn Hotel and CVB Board Member. The CVB’s website, DiscoverStillwater.com which promotes restaurants, boutiques, things to do, lodging, and events in the Stillwater area has seen a consistent increase of 40-60% every year, with year-end 2015 at 315,000 unique users on the site annually.
In the past two years, the CVB worked to create a consistent brand image launching a new logo and website re-design as well as social media presence, promotional videos, new vacation traveler advertising campaigns and increased exposure for the weddings and meetings market. Last year, the marketing plan focused the majority of advertising during the off-season to communicate the fun year-round escape Stillwater has become. Efforts paid off with DiscoverStillwater.com’s website traffic increasing 75% in the first quarter months of January/February/March for 2015.
“There is an exciting feeling in the air for tourism in Stillwater with new businesses appearing.” Jerry Helmberger, CVB President. “We’re a culinary town with an artisan cheese shop, foodie tours, rooftop dining and an outdoor adventurer’s paradise with the new bike trail, Segway tours, and river boat rentals as well as a mecca for artists with Instagram photographers strolling the historic streets and dreams of a new live theatre in the near future.” Christie Rosckes.
Meeting and Event planners who’d like to be more informed on Stillwater can attend a familiarization tour coming up on Tuesday, May 10th. Find out what’s new, where to stay, dine, shop, or explore at www.DiscoverStillwater.com and visit www.mn.meetingsmags.com to see all Best Of award winners this year.
Photo Caption: Accepting the award were past CVB Board President – Tiki Oswald, Stillwater City Council and CVB Board Member -Mike Polehna, and Marketing Director -Christie Rosckes. Professional Image available at: http://goo.gl/yWKULb
Stillwater/Oak Park Heights CVB Board of Directors: Jerry Helmberger – President, Alex Rojas – Vice President, Chuck Dougherty – Treasurer, Steve Roll – Secretary. Board Members: Larry Loyer, Tiki Oswald, Shannon Oldsberg. Associate Members: Sherri Hopke (Mainstreet IBA), Erica Oesterreich (Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce), Mike Runk (City of Oak Park Heights), Mike Polehna & Doug Menikeim (City of Stillwater)