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Continued: Edina and other suburbs compete for the tourist dollar

  • Article by: MARY JANE SMETANKA , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 4, 2014 - 12:20 AM

Cities market not only themselves but their neighbors. St. Louis Park advertises its proximity to Minneapolis theaters and connections to trails that reach Minneapolis lakes.

In Edina, Syverson thinks her city will attract retail, medical and leisure travelers, including those who are coming to shop at the Mall of America.

The Edina chamber has gotten calls from travelers who say they’ve heard about shopping in Edina but aren’t quite sure where to go, she said. She said Edina can market four types of shopping: high-end fashion at the Galleria, boutiques around 50th and France, Southdale and the stores around Centennial Lakes.

When the Edina chamber got a call from four Rochester women who go shopping twice a year at the Mall of America but wanted to expand their trip to Edina, Syverson connected them with an Edina hotel and found places for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a wine break and even a massage.

“She called me afterward and thanked me,” Syverson said. “But now that we will have a staff and a repository of information, it will be so much easier.”

Discover St. Louis Park ran ads ­during TV broadcasts of Twins games in outstate Minnesota and in the Dakotas and found that traffic on the Discover website spiked. Syverson said up to 30 percent of travelers in Minnesota are repeat visitors who come to the Cities for a Twins game or to visit the big mall in Bloomington.

“They might come one time and stay in St. Louis Park, then look at Edina the next time,” she said. “It’s a very cooperative atmosphere. I can see Edina mentioning Canterbury Park, or Valleyfair, or [St. Louis Park’s] West End.”

Edina’s lodging tax is expected to raise about $390,000 in its first full year. Syverson said Explore Edina should be up and running by fall.

Mary Jane Smetanka • 612-673-7380

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