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EMT Express

EMT Express provides biweekly news and tips for the people who market Minnesota tourism.

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EMT Express - June 4, 2019

Grand View Lodge resort

Gov. Walz Approves Budget for Explore Minnesota

The Minnesota Legislature concluded its business during a special session on Friday, May 24. The Environment and Natural Resources omnibus bill approved by Gov. Walz includes Explore Minnesota's funding at a relatively flat rate of $14.4 million for FY2020 and $14.3 million for FY2021. Included in the base is $100,000 for the Northern Lights Music Festival each year, and $60,000 for the events grants program in the first year. This is down from $900,000 for events grants in the current biennium.

Language and funding for a new Office of Outdoor Recreation, located within Explore Minnesota, was stripped from the bill during conference committee negotiations.

With our industry listening sessions complete, and a budget number to work from, the Explore Minnesota Tourism Council will meet in June to discuss direction for the coming two years and help agency leadership identify priorities that will bring the best returns for our efforts.

Thank you to everyone who contacted legislators, testified at committee hearings and in other ways supported our funding efforts.


Thank You for Attending Explore Minnesota's Listening Sessions

In April and May, Explore Minnesota conducted six listening sessions around the state for tourism industry partners to share ideas and provide valuable insight into the issues and challenges that affect businesses, organizations and communities statewide.

The thoughts and ideas shared during these sessions will help establish priorities and direction for Explore Minnesota's future, and ensure our resources are effectively put to use to benefit the entire state. Thank you to all who were able to participate.

You can review the overall presentation, including questions posed to the industry, and recaps from each of the listening sessions on the industry site:

Questions? Contact Beth Helle at 651-757-1872 or


Summer Business Outlook Report Is Now Available

A recent Explore Minnesota survey revealed that Minnesota lodging and camping properties have positive expectations for the upcoming summer season. The summary report of results is now available on the Reports page of the industry website under "Seasonal Industry Survey."


2020 Minnesota Travel Guide Ad Sales Now Open

Advertising sales for the official 2020 Minnesota Travel Guide have begun. 270,000 copies of Explore Minnesota's statewide travel guide will be distributed via targeted geographic outlets, including high-traffic distribution points at Mall of America, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, and Minnesota Welcome Centers and visitors bureaus statewide. Thousands of copies are also inserted into key publications including Minnesota Monthly and the Chicago Sun-Times. Additionally, the guide can be ordered online along with an interactive digital version on

Advertisers receive a discount when taking advantage of the early bird deadline. A signed agreement and payment must be postmarked no later than Wednesday, July 31, to receive the discounted rate.

Click here for 2020 ad rates, sizes and other details.

Important Deadlines

  • July 31 – For early bird discount (contract and full payment are due)
  • Sept. 6 – Payment and contracts are due
  • Sept. 13 – All ad materials are due



Last Call For Purchasing FY2019 Co-Ops

Time is running out to take part in Explore Minnesota's 2018-2019 co-ops. Save money, try something new or increase your reach by running a campaign through the co-op program.

Advertising packages are still available, but space is limited in Lake Time Magazine, digital & social media programs, out-of-home and TV/video programs.

Questions about co-ops? Contact Derek at 651-757-1843 or


Use Your Star Tribune Advertising Credits for the Fall Explorer

Star Tribune's Golden Gavel is a twice-annual event that allows clients to trade goods and services for Star Tribune advertising credits, and the Minnesota Explorer now qualifies for use of these credits. This digital auction is driven by customer bidding on When an item is bought, Star Tribune gives the client ad credits for the items purchased. Travel packages have proven to be popular items to bid on.

Visit to learn more. Materials are due Aug. 16 to get into the catalog and Sept. 6 for online only. Ad credits must be used by April 29, 2020. In order to apply your credits toward the Fall Explorer, the space reservation deadline is Friday, July 12.

For questions, please contact Star Tribune at 612-673-7009 or  


Explore Minnesota Partnership with Iowa Wild Finishes Strong

Explore Minnesota teamed up for the first time with the Iowa Wild Hockey Club for their 2018 season. The team played at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, as the American Hockey League affiliate of the Minnesota Wild and averages 6,300 attendees per game. The club provided Explore Minnesota with arena signage and advertising opportunities including TV, radio, social posts, and an AHLTV title sponsorship on all streamed games.

The partnerships also included a sweepstakes that featured a St. Paul getaway donated by Visit Saint Paul, which generated over 1,800 registrations, 826 Explore Minnesota newsletter opt-ins and 748 Visit Saint Paul newsletter opt-ins.

During Hockey Day Minnesota, Explore Minnesota was the official sponsor of the Iowa Wild home game, which included arena signage and social media posts, a section giveaway featuring co-branded winter hats and swag bags for 250 lucky Wild fans, and distribution of 5,000 Winter Explorers.

The full Iowa Wild-Explore Minnesota partnership recap can be viewed here.

If you have any questions about the Iowa Wild partnership, please contact Glori Rantz, or 651-757-1869.


Registration Open for 2019 Rural Arts & Culture Summit

Registration is open for the 2019 Rural Arts & Culture Summit held Oct. 3-5 at the Reif Performing Arts Center in Grand Rapids. Tickets are available on a sliding scale ranging from $85-$300.

Whether you are a community leader looking for ways to collaborate with your creative community, or an arts nonprofit leader wanting to strengthen your organization, there is something for you at the Rural Arts and Culture Summit. You will have access to more than 25 workshops and presentations by dozens of rural arts and culture practitioners across the country, who will lead conversations on an array of topics including cultural equity, arts and housing partnerships, arts advocacy, marketing strategies and more.

Visit for details on scholarship opportunities, traveling to Grand Rapids, accommodations and more.

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