Glensheen’s Hartman, Grandma’s Marathon receive Excellence in Tourism Awards

Mankato, Minn. — During the 2018 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, held at the Verizon Center this week, several individuals, organizations and tourism businesses were recognized at the annual Excellence in Tourism Awards banquet for their contributions to the state’s $15.0 billion travel industry.

Julie Lunning, executive director of Visit St. Cloud, was named “Outstanding Individual in Tourism” for her long-term work on behalf of the Minnesota tourism industry. In addition to serving on many industry boards and commissions, she was instrumental in the community recently hosting several large events, including the 2017 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener and 2018 Hockey Day Minnesota.

Two “Friend of Tourism” awards were presented to the Department of Natural Resource’s Mike Kurre and Bois Forte’s Fortune Bay Resort for outdoor promotional efforts and significant tourism efforts in northeast Minnesota, respectively.

Grandma’s Marathon received a “Minnesota Signature Event Award” for the race, which generates significant travel dollars to the state of Minnesota, and the substantial national and international media exposure this event has generated.

Grandma’s Marathon was also recently named to The BibRave 100: A Definitive List of the Best Races in America. The marathon was listed as one of the top 20 best marathons in the country. Grandmas Marathon was also included as one of the top 10 finalists in the runner-nominated category Exceptional Race Management.

“These awards go to our entire community that comes together around marathon weekend,” said Shane Bauer, executive director at Grandma’s Marathon. “It’s the second year for the Minnesota Signature Event Award, and a recipient last year was the Ryder Cup. These are great honors from our state tourism agency and the national running community.”

The 42nd running of the annual road race will take place in Duluth, Minnesota on June 16, 2018. The iconic race attracts runners from all 50 states and over 40 countries each year, bringing the race to prominence as the eleventh largest marathon in the United States.

Explore Minnesota Industry Award winners were:

. Mall of America: Visitor Attraction of the Year

. Schwan’s USA CUP: Event of the Year

. Dan Hartman, Glensheen Mansion: Rising Star of the Year

 Explore Minnesota Marketing Awards were presented to:

. Hutchinson Area Chamber and Tourism: Marketing Campaign

. Visit Northfield: Website

. Visit Grand Rapids: Social Media

. Visit Bemidji: Marketing Campaign

. Visit Winona: Branding Initiative

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