It is a feeling that most Duluthians have experienced. It is the pride and the excitement we feel when we have the privilege of welcoming visitors to our beloved community. We become even more excited when our guests are already delighted to be visiting Duluth and already effusive when expressing their love for our community.
Last weekend, I had the honor of welcoming to Duluth leaders from the Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever organization. These leaders could have met anywhere in in our great nation. The organization includes 700 chapters from across the country. Yet, they chose to gather in our beloved Duluth.
They traveled from far and wide to gather on the shores of the Greatest of the Great Lakes. Some of them traveled to Duluth by plane. And, oh, were they impressed by our shiny new airport.
Others traveled here on Interstate 35 where they experienced the transformative view of our Shining City on the Hill as they reached the crest in the freeway, near Spirit Mountain. They spoke of how breathtaking the view was as they enjoyed the long panoramic glide into the heart of Duluth.
I met with these leaders shortly after they had settled into the meeting space they chose, located in our vibrant Canal Park. The group was clearly pleased to be in Duluth. Their questions illustrated how highly they regarded the positive transformation they believed was occurring in Duluth. A few were familiar with the Duluth of the 1970s and 1980s. They indicated how dramatically improved this revitalized Duluth was in comparison to the Duluth they experienced in past decades.
My time with these enthusiastic visitors afforded me insight into how Pheasants Forever has been working hard to create the next generation of hunter-conservationists. In turn, these leaders appreciated learning that the Duluth Area Chamber is actively engaging young professionals in moving our community forward. They were also pleased to learn that the 20 to 30 year old population segment of our community is expanding faster than any other age group.
There is a wonderful reward to welcoming visitors to Duluth. Drawing attention to our community’s compelling features allows us to see our community through the eyes of individuals who are experiencing Duluth’s uniqueness and attractiveness. We are able to see, afresh, this remarkable place that is our home.
David Ross, President & CEO