Howie: Gerry Goldfarb made a positive difference in Duluth

My good friend Gerry Goldfarb’s last day as general manager at the Holiday Inn & Suites will be Friday, June 21.

“It’s been seven years here at the Holiday Inn & Suites and it’s been a wonderful time here in Duluth,” said Goldfarb, who is moving back to the Twin Cities. “It’s been a pleasure working for the Labovitz family and the Lion Hotel Group, leading the team at Duluth’s largest hotel with 338 rooms and over 12,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space along with two restaurants.

“Duluth is my hometown and will always be my hometown. My family being together and my wife’s busy interior design business are the reasons for the move back to the Twin Cities. My married daughter lives in Burnsville now, my son will be going to college down there this fall, and my wife travels down there now 3-4 times a month as there is so much home building taking place for her interior design business.”

A few notable highlights during Goldfarb’s tenure at the Holiday Inn & Suites and Holiday Center:

. A full renovation of all guest rooms, suites and public areas in the Holiday Inn & Suites

. Relocating and expanding the Greenery Café and Bakery in the Holiday Center

. Building out the new 5,000-square foot Lyric Conference Center in the Holiday Center

. Creating and opening a 5,000-square foot office for Visit Duluth in the Holiday Center

. Closing Porters restaurant, renovating, and opening up the new Lyric Kitchen·Bar restaurant on Superior Street

. In November 2019: Townsquare Media along with its four radio stations will move into the Holiday Center right across from Wells Fargo on Superior Street in a new 8,500 square foot office

Simply said, Goldfarb is leaving Holiday Inn & Suites in a stronger business position than when he moved back to Duluth in 2012.

“We’ve made it through the flood of the century my first year, a couple of Tall Ships Festival and Duluth Air and Aviation Expo summers, plenty of Bentleyville nights and UMD hockey games,” said Goldfarb. “I love the Duluth tourism community; people don’t realize how many lives are affected by the millions of tourists that come to Duluth year-round. From youth hockey tournaments, to families walking on the Lakewalk or touring Glensheen, to trips on the Vista Fleet, to rides on the trains at the Depot, we have thousands upon thousands of jobs that depend on tourism in Duluth. Serving as Visit Duluth board chair for six years I saw firsthand the importance and impact that tourism has on Duluth and our region. I will miss Duluth, but will return as a tourist for sure.”