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Letter: Red Wing has many possibilities

To the Editor:

I read with interest Danielle Killey’s report regarding the city of Red Wing’s support to hire a Downtown Main Street director (R-E, Oct. 16). It is encouraging to hear of positive movement to revitalize the business community.

Friends and I have for some time talked about how Red Wing can become active and more engaging.

Red Wing sits surrounded by bluffs in one of the most beautiful parts of the Midwest. We are blessed to have historic buildings, the St. James Hotel, parks, beautiful churches and unique shops along one of the greatest rivers in the world.

I’ve always been amazed how Duluth revitalized its downtown community and wonder if, in some mini way, Red Wing can do the same.

With some trepidation because of my lack of expertise, I offer just a few thoughts regarding the business revitalization of Red Wing.

1. The DTMS director’s primarily responsibility should be to initiate, organize, market and coordinate events that would bring people into Red Wing.

I was told our recent art festival drew in an estimated 50,000 people. If one looks at Duluth’s calendar of events, most weekends throughout the year have some activity planned (festivals, concerts, races/walks, etc.). A goal for the director would be to have 75 percent of the weekends filled.

2. Encourage the development of a reasonably priced hotel/motel close to the river. With planning and creativity, I believe the river area (Levee Road, Bay Point) can be a beautiful blend of nature, recreation and economic development.

With Canal Park, Duluth has certainly brought more people closer to its great natural resource. Perhaps we can as well.

3. Encourage an “anchor” chain restaurant downtown. With the exception of a few restaurants, the history of independent restaurants thriving in Red Wing is poor.

4. Revisit and encourage Falconer Winery or another wine entrepreneur to develop the land across from the Anderson Center.

If Pepin, Wis., was able to attract a beautiful winery, perhaps Red Wing with all its assets can do the same. A winery in view of travelers and at the entrance to Red Wing could be a draw to bring in people and an asset economically to our city.

David Asp

Red Wing