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Annual Report

A Destination on the Rise

The strategic direction of Experience Rochester MN.


Importance of Conventions & Meetings

In 2016, 384 conventions/meetings/events were held, generating $77.5 million in overall economic impact. Convention attendees stay longer and spend more than leisure visitors. Hosting conventions and meetings helps sustain hospitality businesses, public and private event venues. Rochester’s level of amenities (restaurants, entertainment) is made possible by visitors and could not be supported by the city’s population base alone.

2016 Lodging Industry Growth
Rochester hosted more than 3 million overnight visitors in 2016. The overall economic impact of visitors to Rochester was $1.3 billion.

Sales Success

The RCVB’s sales department is responsible for fulfilling sales and marketing responsibilities for Mayo Civic Center. In 2016, the sales team was successful in achieving a major goal: attracting more and bigger conventions and events to the new convention venues at the expanded Mayo Civic Center. The sales team is achieving high levels of renewals of long-term customers and a 32% increase in new bookings as a result of the center’s new facilities.

  2016 Sales: Goals vs. Actual

Some of the markets that the sales team targets heavily for events at the expanded Mayo Civic Center include: Medical/Healthcare, Technology, Religion, National Associations.

Enhancing the Visitor Experience

More than 1,500 individuals in Rochester have been trained as Certified Tourism Ambassadors (CTAs), with 241 completing the program in 2016. The CTA program, a nationwide certification program for volunteers, front-line hospitality workers, and anyone involved in serving visitors, celebrated its five-year anniversary in Rochester in 2016.

The myrochesterexperience.com visitor survey was a valuable tool for Experience Rochester MN and local hospitality industry businesses in 2016. Findings of an analysis of the second-year survey results are helping Experience Rochester MN prioritize initiatives and allocate resources to improve visitor experiences.

Developing our Destination

Mayo Civic Center’s expansion project was completed in April, 2017 after two years of construction.

Rochester added 211 new hotel rooms to its hotel inventory in 2016, bringing the citywide total room count to 5,945 at 58 lodging establishments.

Some of Experience Rochester MN's destination development priorities moving forward include:

  • Support Mayo Civic Center Arena and Graham Park redevelopment plans
  • Plan for the continued growth of air service at Rochester International Airport
  • Develop additional visitor attractions, entertainment, and things to do
  • Address growing transportation and parking needs for visitors
  • Support plans to develop Rochester’s hospitality industry workforce needs
  • Strengthen the Rochester destination brand by expanding efforts and new product offerings in medical, health, and wellness tourism

Key partners in destination development: Rochester International Airport, Destination Medical Center, Explore Minnesota Tourism, BrandUSA, Hospitality First, Rochester Downtown Alliance.

Download a PDF of the full report to the community containing 2016 efforts and results here.