New Year, New Firm: Change coming to Duluth’s tourism marketing in 2022

New Year, New Firm: Change coming to Duluth's tourism marketing in 2022
Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 6:51 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - DULUTH, MN -- The new year means big changes for tourism marketing in Duluth.

Bellmont Partners will take over the majority of tourism marketing duties in the city on January 1st.

The Twin Cities-based firm won a $1.8 million contract from the City back in August and will be filling the role previously held by Visit Duluth.

The change marks the end of a nearly 80-year partnership between Visit Duluth and the city.

The decision to end that partnership was controversial at first, with many Duluthians expressing concern over the decision to outsource funding for the city’s tourism marketing.

Bellmont is aware of the pushback and said they’ve dedicated the past few months to learning and embracing Duluth’s community and culture.

“We’ve been doing our homework these past several months, including talking with the City of Duluth and Visit Duluth to ensure a smooth transition,” said Bridget Nelson Monroe with Bellmont.

They recently purchased an office in Duluth and will be moving in once their responsibilities begin.

Emily Vikre, Founder of Vikre Distillery in Canal Park said she’s already been in touch with the new firm and is optimistic they’ll do a good job.

“I got to spend a couple of hours talking with them about priorities and it did seem like they were really doing a lot of research and plan to spend a lot of time in town,” Vikre said.

Vikre Distillery has long been a partner of Visit Duluth, and although their relationship has been overwhelmingly positive in the past, they’re excited to see what Bellmont brings to the table.

New Year, New Firm: Duluth’s new tourism marketing firm ready to take over in 2022

“I think as long as Visit Duluth and Bellmont have great communication, then all of the awesome knowledge and work that Visit Duluth has will be able to be transitioned,” she said.

Nelson Monroe said Bellmont Partners is confident their history with tourism marketing will help them hit the ground running come January.

“With our agency’s deep experience and passion for tourism this is just a dream assignment for us, so we are very excited,” said Nelson Monroe.

Bellmont Partners said they will work hand-in-hand with Visit Duluth to smoothly transition the city’s marketing.

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