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Daniel Fanning, vice president of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce and executive director of the Duluth Area Chamber Foundation, on Downtown Duluth's Annual Meeting and Celebration at the DECC on Wednesday evening – "There’s positive momentum building in Duluth’s downtown, as was evident at last night’s Downtown Duluth Annual Meeting. Kristi Stokes and the Downtown Duluth team organized another well-done event, and I was proud to be there with several colleagues from the Duluth Area Chamber. To me, the highlight of the evening was the keynote speaker Brian Forcier of Titanium Partners. Brian is walking the walk and investing in our downtown with projects like the Ordean Building, The Intrepid and The Njord, in addition to other projects he’s doing around town as well. These projects, in addition to other major projects and investments including Essentia and St. Luke’s, Zenith Apartments and much more are truly helping transform our downtown and breathe new life into the community. Because of these investments, others have been inspired to step as well and we are close to seeing several additional projects downtown soon, including more much-needed housing. Brian’s point about creating an investor-ready downtown will help pave the way for additional investment, growth, and continued momentum.

It was also inspiring to hear from a local small business Hucklebeary who, like so many others, has weathered the storm of the past few years, from Superior Street reconstruction to the pandemic and everything in between. Thanks to their resiliency and commitment to community, as well as the strong support of our community and fellow local businesses, they are now thriving and on a path to sustained success.

It was also refreshing to hear Mayor (Roger) Reinert talk about having an assigned city liaison who will be focused on downtown, in addition to his commitment to supporting increased economic development, public safety initiatives and the incredible work of the DPD, Clean and Safe Team and others helping make downtown safer and more welcoming for all.

It felt like the overall tone and theme of the evening was spot on. We’re making progress and need to continue to work towards and support that progress, while also acknowledging we still have work to do to ensure downtown Duluth is meeting its full potential. The room was full of 500-plus people committed to doing just that, and we look forward to working closely with them as we collectively move our downtown forward."

Kristi Stokes, president of Downtown Duluth, on the powerful community-encouraging event – "It was great to see more than 500 members of our business community showing their support for the downtown. And one of the most common comments I heard from individuals after the program was, 'I feel energized!' While our downtown area has faced some challenges since the pandemic, we are on a positive course. I’m excited that we will be working with many partners and the entire community to create a 5-year plan for our downtown; this will be a unified vision. Plus, all of our speakers highlighted the need and desire to see additional residential development in our downtown area. In the last five years, 217 new units of housing have been created here. Now, this year alone, we just had 122 units come online at Zenith (Historic Central) and another 375 units are proposed through various developments. I am optimistic about the future of the downtown area." 

 Today's Events

Prep Boys Basketball

Cloquet at Denfeld

Proctor at Hinckley-Finlayson

Mt. Iron-Buhl at Rock Ridge

International Falls at Mesabi East

Barron at Northwestern

Prep Girls Basketball

Hermantown at Grand Rapids

Cloquet at Coon Rapids

Pequot Lakes at Esko

Carlton-Wrenshall at Barnum

Two Harbors at Moose Lake-Willow River

Greenway at Cherry

Silver Bay at Cook County

Prep Boys Hockey

Cloquet-Esko-Carlton at Sartell-St. Stephen

North Shore at Proctor

Duluth Marshall at Denfeld