Northwest Sportshow offers a world of vacation possibilities

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH
  • Updated: March 20, 2013 - 12:38 AM

The Northwest Sportshow gives families a chance to plan – and dream.


The allure of the stunning Alaskan wilderness -- the Talkeetna Mountains are shown here -- beckons visitors.

For Katie Magozzi, pitching the Park Rapids area to potential vacationers is easy.

“We have close to 1,000 crystal-clear lakes full of fish and loons, and probably the last vestiges of family-owned resorts left in the state,’’ said Magozzi, executive director of the Park Rapids Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. “We have a live, charming downtown. Itasca State Park is nearby. This is a family vacation spot — it’s not so hard to sell.’’

But it’s a big world with endless travel destinations, each with its own allure. How to choose?

For generations, people have traipsed to the Northwest Sportshow in Minneapolis to browse potential vacation hot spots. This year is no different. Resort and lodge owners from around the nation — and beyond — will be at the show, which runs Thursday through Sunday at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

New this year is a series of travel seminars where visitors can learn about specific destinations.

“Last year we did a survey and found 22 percent of our attendees specifically come to the show to plan, research or book a trip,’’ said Jennifer Thompson, show manager. “We also created a trip-finder tool on our website []. You can search by activity or location and get a list of exhibitors.’’

Magozzi is among those giving travel seminars. Drew Haag will be there, too, enticing travelers with tales from Alaska. Haag operates Above Alaska Aviation in the tiny village of Talkeetna, about 100 miles north of Anchorage.

“We see a lot of Minnesotans,’’ Haag said. He offers remote fly-in fishing, hunting and camping trips for the adventurous. “You’re out in the middle of nowhere,’’ he said. “Most want a special experience.’’

The price for the spectacular scenery: From less than $500 to be dropped off for remote fishing, to upward of $12,000 for a guided hunt.

Nancy Dougherty will be peddling trips closer to home — Lake Vermilion. The sprawling lake is considered one of the most beautiful in the state, with its 365 islands and 1,200 miles of shoreline. But there’s more, said Dougherty, executive director of the Lake Vermilion Resort Association.

“Fishermen come to fish, but it’s a great place to bring families,’’ she said. “And there are all sorts of things to explore: the Fortune Bay Casino, golf courses, the Soudan Underground Mine and the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary. Anglers can access the BWCA by using the truck portage to Trout Lake.’’

Megan Christianson will plug Grand Rapids at the Sportshow, and should find plenty of interest. “Forty-two percent of our visitors come from the Twin Cities,’’ she said.

Fishing obviously is a top attraction.

“And we have more than 1 million acres of public-accessible land with 5,000 miles of trails — snowmobile, ATV, hiking and cross-country ski,’’ Christianson said.

There’s plenty of competition for the travel dollar. Others will present seminars on destinations in Wisconsin, Nebraska, Montana, North Dakota and Ontario.

Thompson said there should be interest in all. She’s seeing signs of the economic recovery.

“Attendance at all of our shows have been up,’’ she said.

She expects about 40,000 people will attend this year’s show.


  • related content

  • Chart: Sportshow travel seminars

    Wednesday March 20, 2013

    Minnesota’s Lake Vermilion: Nancy Dougherty, Lake Vermilion Resort Association (Thursday 2:30 p.m.)Dreaming of Alaska: Drew Haag and Sarah Russell, Above...

  • A rainbow over Lake Vermilion, considered one of Minnesota’s most stunning lakes.

  • The Grand Rapids area has some of the highest concentrations of lakes in the state — and trails galore, too.

  • Northwest sportshow

    When: Thursday through Sunday at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

    Hours: Thursday 1-9 p.m. Friday 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

    Admission: $11; under 16 free • Information:

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.


Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question