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2010 Minnesota Bicycle Tourism Summit Recap

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

On Thursday, April 29, 2010, Sue Galligan, Pequot Lakes Area Coordinator, and I attended the 2010 Minnesota Bicycle Tourism Summit at Breezy Point Resort. This one day workshop profiled examples of successful bicycle tourism endeavors and explored opportunities to promote bicycle tourism. The keynote speaker was Jim Sayer, Executive Director of Adventure Cycling Association out of Missoula, MT. He spoke about the benefits of traveling by bike and how to have “bike friendly” communities.

A session titled “Marketing to Bicycle Enthusiasts” was centered on promoting bicycle events through public relations and advertising, however, the concepts could be easily applied to other types of events as well. In this session, Jason Lardy of Nomad Marketing, Jen Freidl of Jean Freidle Communications LLC, and Gary Sjoquist of Quality Bicycle Products spoke about why it is important to promote bicycling events that are taking place in your community and how to appropriately promote those events and the details of those events to the media. They spoke of the importance of having a good balance and working relationship between the public relations efforts as well as the advertising efforts.

The last session I attended was called “Are you on the map? Bicyclist Navigation Tools & How to Play a Part” presented by Joyce Wisdom of Lake Street Council and Landon Bouma of GroupLens Research/Cyclopath.org. This session stressed the importance of appropriate signage along bike trails and appropriate facilities for cyclists along the trails. Landon Bouma of GroupLens Research introduced a new mapping/biking tool called Cyclopath.org which is basically a “mapquest” function for cyclists. Currently, only bike trails within the Twin Cities Metro Area are listed on the site, but they hope to expand to include all areas of Minnesota (and beyond) in the near future.

The Summit was a wonderful learning experience and provided an abundance of valuable information. I plan to take my new found knowledge to enhance explorebrainerdlakes.com with more information pertaining to area trails and bicycling in the Brainerd Lakes Area. I also plan to work collaboratively with the Paul Bunyan Trail Marketing Committee to develop new ways of promoting the Paul Bunyan Trail to biking enthusiast.

Gretchen Ennis
Brainerd Lakes Chamber Tourism Director
Paul Bunyan Trail Marketing Committee Member
gennis@explorebrainerdlakes.com

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19 Comments :

Anonymous Sue Galligan said...

I enjoyed attending the Bicycle Summit with Gretchen Ennis at Breezy Point Resort. I gained knowledge of how to make our communities more bicycle friendly, how to promote a bicycle event, and learned about concerns that bicycle enthusiasts have, i.e. rumble strips. I'm excited to take the information fromt he summit and apply it to our communities and Chamber member's businesses!

Sue Galligan
Pequot Lakes Area Coordinator
sgalligan@explorebrainerdlakes.com

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