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The History of the Mississippi Valley Partners

In June of 1992 a coalition of fourteen rural communities along the Mississippi River in S.E. Minnesota joined forces to promote tourism with continuing sensitivity to environmental and historical preservation. Lake Pepin and the Mississippi River was the "great divide" when it came to public and private entities working together on projects. All of the small towns in the valley (Kellogg, Wabasha, Reads Landing, Camp LaCupolis, Lake City, Frontenac, Bay City, Maiden Rock, Stockholm, Pepin, Nelson, and Alma) were geographically close together but tourism business owners were not communicating or jointly marketing their businesses. Red Wing, MN came on board in 1996 as the 13th rural community. Winona, MN was voted in in October of 2004 as the 14th rural community. Minimal referrals were being made between the communities and there was little interaction between citizens interested in tourism development.

With the assistance of the University of Minnesota Extension Service the public and private sector joined together to organize Mississippi Valley Partners (MVP).

The goals of the organization are:
Create an atmosphere of open communication concerning tourism issues in the 14 MVP communities.
Develop the concept of looking at the 14 communities as one destination place with numerous small community experiences.
Promote tourism in the area with an on-going commitment to environmental, historical and cultural appreciation.
Increase business sales and "bottom-line" profits in Mississippi Valley Partner businesses.
Develop a shoulder season; create an increased demand for the winter season; and market both to the general public.
Mississippi Valley Partners has developed into a very effective tourism coalition with over 150 members. They voted to expand their geographic boundaries to welcome the city of Red Wing into their accomplishment over the last five years include the development of the very popular "Worlds Greatest Garage Sale"; a variety of tourism promotions including the "Twelve Days of Christmas"; printing of the premiere Mississippi Valley Partners travel guide booklets that are distributed throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin; completion of a major business, retention and expansion program and a huge increase in collaboration between MVP businesses and communities
 
MVP | PO Box 1 | Wabasha, MN 55981