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Business North - The Daily Briefing - Business Newspaper Online
Mattson to step down at Visit Duluth
Visit Duluth President and CEO Terry Mattson is leaving his executive post at Visit Duluth early in December after completion of the 23rd Annual AMSOIL Duluth National Snocross at Spirit Mountain.
Mattson, 51, said now is the right time to leave the tourism promotion group.
“I absolutely love selling Duluth, but 28 years is a long time to be in a position today. It’s been an extreme privilege to help grow Duluth’s tourism industry," he said is a news release. “And I’ve really come to appreciate that it’s important to stop and smell the roses, too. I plan on doing more of that, whether at our family farm in northern Wisconsin, on the open road on my Harley or winding through wooded snowmobile trails.”
Mattson said he has been approached to provide consulting services for tourism projects in Key West and Los Angeles. He also wants to explore other career options, including some outside of the industry, as well as assist Visit Duluth in preparing for his successor.
Visit Duluth Board Chair Gerry Goldfarb said the Visit Duluth board is now beginning a search process to identify Mattson’s replacement.
Mattson oversaw increases in tourism sales and revenue in 23 of the past 24 years. A tourism industry that had an $80 million direct impact for Duluth in the late 1980s has now grown to $800 million annually, according to Visit Duluth.
Mattson, who began working at what was then called the Duluth Convention and Visitors Bureau in 1985, has been the organization’s president and CEO since 1990. Earlier this year, he was named Minnesota’s “Outstanding Individual in Tourism,” the top honor for the state’s $12 billion industry. Mattson was one of 10 Duluth movers and shakers recognized by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal and has received Minnesota's Hospitality Journal “Vision Award for Leadership” for fast action to preserve Duluth’s tourism industry after the 2012 flash flood.
Mattson founded the Tall Ships maritime festivals. He also was a founder of the AMSOIL Duluth National Snocross, a popular kickoff to the winter season held each Thanksgiving weekend at Spirit Mountain.
“I thank Terry for his 28 years of dedicated service to Duluth’s tourism industry,” Goldfarb said. “From his leadership in starting Snocross in 1991 to most recently organizing the extremely successful Tall Ships 2013, which is arguably Duluth’s largest event ever, Terry has always been a visionary leader. We wish him well and appreciate all he has done for Duluth and its tourism industry.”
“I wish Terry the very best. His leadership was critical in establishing Duluth as a world-class visitor destination with a remarkable record of growth,” said Mayor Don Ness. “Terry has helped transform Duluth’s brand from a rust belt city to a vibrant, adventure destination.”
“It’s flattering to hear these compliments,” Mattson said, “but Visit Duluth’s success has been a team effort among its staff, board, stakeholders and the entire community. I think Duluth is well positioned for continued tourism growth for many years to come.”
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