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Red Wing app coming soon

Editor's note: This is the first of three stories about the projects awarded Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation funds after January's Idea Slam.

Today: Red Wing app

Sept. 12: Creative Economy

Sept. 15: Friends of the Bluffs

Want to know the best places to shop, hike or see a show in Red Wing?

There's an app for that. Or at least there will be soon.

"It is being beta tested right now," Dave Borgen said of the Red Wing smartphone application he and a group of others created.

The project stemmed from January's Idea Slam, where the app and a brochure highlighting local museums were plucked from more than two dozen proposals.

The two combined into a single group that was among three to receive funding -- $11,500 of the available $20,000 -- from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation following the event. It was the largest amount awarded to one group.

The three groups had until Sept. 1 to use the SMIF funds and will give community presentations in October about what they did.

The brochure, headed by Ruth Nerhaugen, is complete. It highlights historical and art museums throughout the area that visitors and residents alike can enjoy.

After beta testing with a small group of individuals, the Red Wing app soon will be submitted to Android and Apple for consideration. It's unclear how long that process will take, Borgen said, but after approval the app would be widely available in those marketplaces.

The app will spotlight three different areas of Red Wing: active, such as parks and trails; cultural, such as theater, music and museums; and shopping, which will include retail, lodging and restaurants.

As the project is winding down, the process has been a little frustrating because many of the details are now out of the group's hands, Borgen said.

"The dreaming and the wish list of what the product could look like -- that was fun and exciting," Borgen said. "But we had some issues we had to deal with as we were creating the actual app."

But all in all, "after getting through that, I think it turned out pretty good," he said. "I'm looking forward to really getting this out there to folks and marketing it to the community."

Even though the funds from SMIF are gone, the app released soon won't be the final product, Borgen said. And the group had to keep that in mind throughout the process.

"We had to step back a couple times and say we're not going to be able to do that at this point," he said. "The hope is it will continue and we'll put out a bigger, better phase from here after getting our feet wet."

Danielle Killey

Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.

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