DECC, Visit Duluth Discussing Potential Merger

DULUTH, Minn. – The advisory boards for the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center and Visit Duluth are starting conversations about potentially merging together as they face severe financial setbacks from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both entities have assembled their own sub-committees to discuss what a merger could look like.

The committees would develop an idea for an organizational structure that would serve best if both the DECC and Visit Duluth were under one umbrella.

“One of the advantages of a combination would be having that additional horsepower around sales and marketing. At the end of the day both organizations are about bringing people to Duluth and to Northeast Minnesota,” said Roger Reinert, interim executive director at the DECC.

The DECC and Visit Duluth have faced painful layoffs during the pandemic and both receive tourism tax revenue from the city of Duluth to help in operations.  Tourism tax revenue comes from hotel, motel, food and beverage taxes, which are projected to be at a loss of roughly $12 million for 2020 because of the pandemic.

There is no timeline for when or if the combining of organizations will happen.

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