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This profile was last updated on 7/31/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Executive Director

Phone: (701) ***-****  HQ Phone
Email: w***@***.org
Minot Convention & Visitors Bureau
1020 South BroadwayPO Box 2066
Minot , North Dakota 58702
United States

Company Description: Plan your convention or trip to Minot, North Dakota, the Magic City.
Background

Employment History

  • Executive Director
    Visitors Bureau
  • President
    Destination Marketing Association of North Dakota
  • Executive Director
    Minot CVB
  • Director of Leisure Travel
    Minot CVB
  • Executive Director
    Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Committee Member and the Executive Director
    Convention and Visitors Bureau
154 Total References
Web References
Minot Area Development Corporation: About : Board Members
www.minotusa.com, 31 July 2014 [cached]
Wendy Howe Minot Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director
Visit Minot | Minot, ND | Visit Minot Staff
visitminot.org, 6 Feb 2014 [cached]
Wendy Howe
Executive Director
The decision to rebrand started about ...
www.minotdailynews.com, 8 Jan 2013 [cached]
The decision to rebrand started about two years ago, according to Wendy Howe, executive director for Visit Minot. In a board retreat, she and others in attendance talked about how Minot is changing and thought it was time for a new logo and to rebrand, she explained. The name Convention and Visitors Bureau sounded too governmental or bureaucratic, Howe and others thought. Minot has a booming economy and has been seeing a surge in population, she said, which is transforming the community into a modern city with more attractions and amenities than ever before.
"Visit Minot does a good job of showcasing our message and is kind of a call to action and gets the message out there," Howe noted.
Article Photos
Jill Hambek/MDN • A life-size troll carved out of wood greets visitors at the Minot Convention and Visitors Bureau. As of Monday, Jan. 7, the Minot Convention and Visitors Bureau will officially be known as Visit Minot. Wendy Howe, executive director for the bureau, said the decision to rebrand was made due to Minot's booming economy and surging population.
Jill Hambek/MDN • Wendy Howe, executive director of the Minot Convention and Visitors Bureau, now known as Visit Minot, sits at her desk in her office on Monday. Monday was the official day that the rebranding of the Minot Convention and Visitors Bureau was announced, which Howe said is an exciting time.
Jill Hambek/MDN • The Minot Convention and Visitors Bureau, located at 1020 S. Broadway, will officially be known as Visit Minot, according to an announcement made by executive director Wendy Howe. The new name is part of a comprehensive rebranding initiative that also includes a new logo, website, and message that says, "We're ready for you."
The mission and passion of Visit Minot is to connect people with the Magic City, whether it's to visit or move here, Howe explained. She and the staff feel that the new logo will help convey what Visit Minot is about. The new logo features a pinwheel design with "Visit Minot" in front of it. The lettering is white, while the background is royal blue. Before, the logo was maroon and gold with a shooting star above the "M" with no mention of paying the city a visit. Howe said they kept the same font for Minot in the new logo. "It takes a piece of the old and puts the new with it," she added. "We're moving into the future."
The new look represents the energy of the community and where Minot is headed, Howe pointed out. The dynamic changes taking place in Minot inspired the new look of the logo, she said. Minot is becoming a more vibrant city with more and more attractions, while at the same time playing a larger and larger role in the region's economy, Howe also said.
Technically, Visit Minot is still a convention and visitors bureau, Howe said, but is branded as Visit Minot. "Every city has a convention and visitors bureau that acts as that community's tourism agency," she explained. "But what we want to communicate to the public is not only our purpose, but also the spirit that drives us to connect people to Minot. Our new name aligns our identity with our purpose. Howe said she has seen more bureaus rebrand themselves to promote the city as more of a tourist destination.
Minot is the first bureau in the state to move away from the convention and visitors bureau name, Howe remarked. "I feel like we're blazing a new trail and I'm sure there will be other bureaus that follow in the future."
"We're ready for Minot to grow," Howe said. "Change can be hard but also exciting and we're excited for this. We can't get stagnant when marketing a new destination or place. The new logo represents the new brand and a call to action."
What's more, the bureau's website, (www.visitminot.org), has also had a facelift with the new brand. The site has been revamped, Howe said. People will see the new logo and colors, she added, and that will give people the message that Minot is ready for them to shop or dine or live there, which they will see on the website. The site showcases everything Minot has to offer, serving as a one-stop information center, Howe noted. There are also specially customized trip agendas that help visitors manage their time through the Map Your Trip feature, she also noted. Plus, the staff at Visit Minot figured out the items on the website that were most visited and included them on the revamped website to make it as easy as possible for people to find events or places to shop or dine.
Additionally, the hotel availability search was also revamped, Howe said, which gives a list of hotels that are available. Visitors input the date they want to come and the search engine provides a list of hotels that will be available at that time, she explained. "It makes it easier for visitors to use."
The website can also be found on mobile devices, which is easy to navigate, Howe noted, and lists restaurants that are closest to the person's current location. "We wanted to make sure that was included," she added. "We're trying to make it more user friendly for visitors."
In the near future, the sign on Broadway will be changed to the new logo, Howe noted. Currently, they're in the process of updating all of the items in the gift shop. "Everything you'll see will eventually have the Visit Minot logo on it."
Howe said she has heard nothing but positive comments so far about the rebranding of the bureau. "People are excited about something new," she added. It was a process to rebrand the bureau, Howe remarked, but definitely worthwhile.
"Minot is evolving so much as a community and it's fun to be a part of it," Howe said.
Wendy Howe, executive ...
www.prairiebizmag.com, 10 Sept 2012 [cached]
Wendy Howe, executive director of the Minot Convention and Visitors Bureau and president of the Destination Marketing Association of North Dakota, is involved in various local and state organizations and has worked with other industry leaders to take the tourism message to Washington, D.C.
Wendy Howe, executive ...
www.minotdailynews.com, 17 May 2012 [cached]
Wendy Howe, executive director of the Minot CVB, said there are currently just over 2,100 rooms in Minot spread across 19 hotels. The occupancy rate through the first couple months this year has been averaging 81 percent, which is definitely on the high end. That rate at this time of year is up 6 percent from last year and up 17 percent compared to 2010.
"It's kind of just steadily been climbing," Howe said.
On average, the occupancy level in North Dakota at this time of year only averages 68 percent, while nationally it's just 53 percent.
"So having the type of occupancy that we have is very unusual compared to the rest of the country," Howe said.
Along with the 19 current hotels, Howe said four more are slated to open in the near future: Hampton Inn, Country Inn & Suites, Astoria and Microtel.
"And we also have heard that there are others that have taken out permits," Howe said. "There are others that have not started construction, but have either went through the planning stages or went through the process of taking out permits to build."
Minot's occupancy rate is steadily climbing even though more and more hotel rooms have been coming online. Although oil companies snatching up rooms as soon as they become available is definitely contributing to this trend, it's far from the only reason. Howe said there are many more events in Minot that are attracting increasing numbers of tourists than in previous years. On top of that, recovery from the Souris River flood is still ongoing, and all the extra workers in town for the cleanup job need a place to stay.
In addition, Howe speculates that many people in outlying communities who didn't have permanent residence there are taking rooms in Minot as they open up to at least get into town, maybe with the intention of looking for an apartment or other more permanent housing option once they're here.
~Overbuilding hotels?~
Howe said they often get the question about whether Minot is overbuilding hotels to meet current demand, only to have them sit vacant in a few years. It's not something she has any control over, however, so it's something she doesn't waste her time worrying about.
"At this point we're welcoming the hotel rooms that are being added because as new hotels have come online in the last year, as they've opened they've immediately been predominately filled with contracts from oil companies or energy companies or construction companies. They've been contracted for a number of rooms, so it doesn't make it any easier for the leisure traveller, the random business traveller, especially convention groups and sports tournaments," Howe said. "So we are hoping with more hotel rooms coming online, as well as more apartments and homes being built, that that's going to create more vacancies in the hotels, which will give us the chance to attract more visitors to the community and not have so many long-term stays in the hotels."
Howe went on to say all hotel developers go through an extensive process to make sure building another hotel in Minot is a viable business opportunity not only now, but well into the future.
"I'm sure they're each doing their homework to find out what the occupancy is (and) what the future is estimated to look like. I don't have a lot of control over whether more hotels are not built or are built, so I try to worry myself with things I do have control over," Howe said. "But at this point I can tell you, from our perspective, with the hotels that have come online we don't feel like we are overbuilt because the hotels that have come online have indicated to us that they have been mostly full with contracts almost immediately. And for our leisure travellers and our convention attendees that we've been trying to continue to have come to Minot, having more availability will be beneficial."
Howe said the Minot CVB partners very closely with the hotels around town to ensure enough room blocks are reserved for events such as convention and meeting groups, and athletic tournaments, as well. While they have managed to handle the lodging requirements for those events, Howe said they would like to grow those opportunities in the future.
"We would like to grow them. We'd like to be able to have more of those kind of events, and larger events," Howe said.
...
Minot's high occupancy rate has made finding a room a little more challenging the past few years, but Howe said things are actually getting better. She noted one of the CVB's major initiatives to help travellers out is listing hotel vacancies on their website at (visitminot.org).
The CVB conducts regular surveys of hotels in Minot to see what room availability is like. That information is then updated on the CVB website so travellers can see what hotels have rooms available at a glance. Howe said hopefully this information will save visitors from having to make too many phone calls to find a room.
"On the top of our web page there's a "Hotel" button. ... If they click on that, they can see what dates we've done. We usually survey about a month to six weeks out, and then we also include some busy times," Howe said. "So we've also included the State Fair and (Norsk) Hstfest because we know people will be looking for accommodations then, as well."
Howe said putting room availability on their website so visitors can easily see how many hotels have vacancies has helped fight the perception that Minot never has any open hotel rooms. While that might have been the case to some degree in the past, finding rooms has become easier lately as more hotels have come online.
"We've been doing this survey for quite a long time, and there was a period of time where it was difficult to find vacancies," Howe said.
...
"If you were a company where you were bringing employees in and out of Minot on a regular basis, and you're looking for rooms regularly, they can subscribe to this and every time we update it they get an email with the most current information," Howe said.
...
Howe said they have really tried to target their marketing area to more of a local and regional reach.
"We are reaching around the state, especially in western North Dakota where we know there's a population boom and people are looking for things to do that are a short drive away," Howe said. "And we've also continued to make the Canadian market a priority for us."
They are really working on the marketing theme of plan in advance, to get people more in the habit of planning ahead. Howe said Canadian visitors who have been coming to Minot for many years might not be used to having to call in advance for a hotel room. Instead, they called a few days before or just looked for a room when they got into town. While that still might work from time to time today, Howe said calling well ahead of their arrival date to secure a room can help alleviate a lot of frustration for tourists if hotel rooms are tight.
"So really kind of that plan in advance, and then making it more of a closer market for us of who we're going after," Howe said of their current marketing strategy.
...
"So that when visitors or new residents to our community come, they find that magic of Minot," Howe said. "The hospitality that we're used to giving that's going to keep them coming back or help them be glad that they relocated here."
Howe said they develop a new marketing plan every year, and while 2012 is still young, she said the marketing plan seems to be working well so far. They have done several Canadian trade shows and the response has been good.
"It's working very well to help provide them with the information that hotel rooms are available. That was a big message that we heard: Will there be rooms if we want to come to Minot? Howe said. "So by the number of requests that we're seeing from the Canadian visitors post marketing campaign, we're seeing the interest in Minot continue as well as increase a little bit, as well."
~A different summer~
While the summer last year was hardly a typical one for Minot, Howe said that this year's summer will be different from normal, as well. She said some of the attractions the CVB has typically marketed in the past will be missing this year, so they will have to focus on the things that are available, on the new things opening, and the special events the Magic City will have. Howe hopes those things will help drive visitor traffic, as well.
She mentioned Roosevelt Park Zoo not being fully available this year and the golf courses being available on a much smaller scale as challenges they will have to overcome in marketing Minot to visitors.
"Those things are definitely attractors for visitors, so some of those things could have an impact. So we'll have to counteract that with promoting things that we do have available, like focusing on some of our events like the jazz festival, the summer concert series, the MSU summer theater, and special events like the air show that will be happening at the airport," Howe said.
...
While the current marketing plan is only a few months old, Howe and the rest of the CVB staff are already thinking of the day when it will need to be replaced.
"The CVB is looking not only at marketing, but also facilities. The board and the staff have been meeting with some of our partners to look at what
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