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VCB director catches charm of river city

Red Wing Visitors and Convention Bureau director Arloa Bach welcomes previous and future visitors to the area and is excited about partnering with local business and organizations to build on Red Wing's strong tourism reputation. (Republican Eagle photo by Amanda Greenwood)

Red Wing Visitor and Convention Bureau new executive director Arloa Bach loves the reputation of the river city she now calls home and is excited to build upon Red Wing’s touristic traditions.

She had the opportunity to “know about Red Wing before even visiting,” saying that the culture and reputation of the area precedes itself.

With a chance to visit the downtown area and stay at the St. James Hotel, Bach also experienced the charm she had previously heard about.

When the executive director position opened this spring, Bach was drawn to the scenic beauty, many outdoor activities, charming businesses and small-town feel of the area.

“There is so much personality … so many subcultures,” she said of Red Wing.

Now, with a month in the director’s chair under her belt, Bach is encouraged and appreciative of the VCB’s connections already in place.

“People have been so good about reaching out,” she said. “I am excited about starting to throw myself into the Red Wing culture.”

Roads leading to Red Wing

Bach is a graduate of South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota and originally from a small farming community in southwest Minnesota.

Her educational background and previous career opportunities have created a resume skilled with advertising and marketing relations.

After an internship in downtown Chicago and graduation from SDSU, Bach had the opportunity to work in advertising and media planning in Oak Park, Illinois, where she utilized a “variety of media” in partnering with human resource departments for organizations.

One of the company’s big clients was Disney.

“It was a great first job,” she said.

Bach then moved back to Minnesota, where she worked for Best Buy in their advertising department, working with several teams within the organization and wearing “many hats.”

After nine years at Best Buy, she worked in advertising in downtown Minneapolis and then for a small entrepreneurial business before moving into her current position at the VCB.

From marketing and advertising to media and recruitment, Bach is well-versed in the avenues of client relations, which ties into the operational and networking sides of the executive director office.

Building on great impressions

“We are an entity that can help the whole community in creating a great experience for our visitors,” Bach said. “Customers are our best advertisers.”

Moving forward, Bach anticipates the holiday seasons and building on the “stay and play” experiences characteristic of Red Wing.

“We want to offer all options for visitors from traditional methods (phone call questions) to online self-planning tools. It is about getting people the information they want and are looking for.”

She highlighted the “real experiences” that Red Wing offers from the sight-seeing, historical aspects, music and art avenues and even the wineries and breweries “popping up” among many other “reasons to stay.”

“I am really excited to be part of the community,” Bach said. “I love Red Wing—the people make Red Wing, Red Wing.”