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Category Archives: ND in the News

2012 London Olympics

 

As the week comes to a close, our eyes turn to the 2012 London Olympic Games. Although there are no athletes originally from North Dakota competing in the games, there are several college alumni to root for! Athletes include former North Dakota State University standout Amanda (Thieschafer) Smock and Dickinson State University’s Ramon Miller, Derrick Atkins and Trevor Barry.

Smock, originally from Melrose, Minn., attended NDSU from 2001-2004 and was a three-time NCAA Division II national champion and 13-time All-American. Smock holds the NDSU outdoor triple jump record of 43 feet, ½ inch and indoor triple jump record of 42 feet, 4½ inches. She qualified for the Olympic triple jump in June, booking her trip to London with a winning 45-9 at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Women’s triple jump preliminaries will be August 3 at 4:25 a.m., CDT.

A pair of Bahamian sprinters and a jumper formerly at Dickinson State also will be competing in track and field.

Miller, a 15-time NAIA All-American, will represent the Bahamas in both the 200-meter and 400-meter dash. Miller set the DSU school record of 45.42 in the 400 in 2009. The first round of the men’s 200-meter dash is August 7 at 5:50 a.m. and the first round of the men’s 400-meter will be August 4 at 4:35 a.m.

Former Blue Hawk Derrick Atkins will be competing in the men’s 100-meter dash and Trevor Barry will be competing in the men’s high jump. Atkins set the DSU school record of 20.81 in the 200-meter dash in 2005. The men’s 100-meter preliminaries start August 4 at 4 a.m.

Barry, who in 2006 set DSU records in the long jump with a leap of 25 feet, 8 inches and the high jump with a 7-3 inches, will be begin high jump prelims on August 5 at 1:05 p.m.

If these Olympians inspire you, North Dakota has several competitions coming up. The Bismarck Marathon is September 15 and offers a full or half marathon, full marathon relay, 10-K or 5-K run. The Maah Daah Hey 100 mountain bike race though the Badlands August 18 concludes in Medora.

For more events and races around North Dakota, check out our website at http://www.ndtourism.com/whatdo/.

 

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Congrats FSN Fan Zone winners

Congratulations to the winners of four North Dakota vacation prizes! These lucky ones entered through the Fox Sports North Fan Zone during an online promotion leading up to the University of North Dakota vs. University of Minnesota men’s hockey series last weekend.

Garth Bowen of Cedar Rapids, Iowa has won a Medora prize package featuring two nights of lodging at the Rough Riders Hotel, two lower-level seating tickets to the legendary Medora Musical, dinner for two at the famed outdoor Pitchfork Steak Fondue, and two rounds of golf with a cart at Bully Pulpit.

 

 

 

Patrick Zalusky of New Brighton, Minn. has won a two-night stay at the Fireside Inn and Suites in Devils Lake, two-days guided fishing with Bry’s Guide Service,  dining and gaming vouchers from Spirit Lake Casino and $50 in Devils Lake Cash.

Mike Siebert of Oakdale, Minn. has won a two-night stay at Woodland Resort on Devils Lake, two-days guided fishing with Mitchell Guide Service, dining and gaming vouchers from Spirit Lake Casino, and $50 in Devils Lake Cash.

And Carmine D’Amato from Sheboyhan, Wis. won a Grand Forks prize package featuring two nights of lodging in a jacuzzi suite at the Canad Inns, a $100 gift card to the Toasted Frog, $50 gift card to the Blue Moose, $250 shopping spree and two tickets to each University of North Dakota men’s hockey games vs. Mankato State, March 2 and 3.

Governor Dalrymple Predicts Score … Again

About a year ago, North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple was interviewed live by Fox Sports North Host Marney Gellner pre-game to a University of North Dakota vs. U of Minnesota men’s hockey game.  At the end of that interview, Marney asked the Governor if he wanted to predict the score of the game.  To which he offered: North Dakota, 4, Minnesota, 1.  He was right!  Two-plus hours later that’s what the score ended up.

Fast forward one year to last Friday night.  Marney Gellner and Governor Dalrymple were back at the FSN pre-game desk in Grand Forks’ Ralph Engelstad Arena.  Marney recalled the Governor’s accurate prediction and asked him for another.  This time he did a bit of a Carnac impression and guessed: North Dakota, 2, Minnesota, 1. Once again – the Gov was right on.  No word yet on if the Governor’s office is receiving requests for lottery numbers and other predictions but I do think I see a standing pre-game question from FSN in the future.

 

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North Dakota responds to ad criticism

Frank Cooper, Chief Consumer Engagement Officer of PepsiCo once said, “You as a brand have to be completely confident about your position, because you will get criticism. You will have a negative reaction. If you didn’t get a negative reaction, that means you’re standing neutral and you have no point of view. Who wants to participate in that?”

For North Dakota Tourism, that criticism came yesterday, January 12, 2012.

On Monday the 9th, North Dakota Tourism unveiled their advertising campaign for the new year, including six new :15-second television ads and 10 new print ads.  The unveil received a great deal of attention including an AP story picked up by more than 50 online and print publications to include the Boston Globe, Bloomberg Businessweek and the Huffington Post.  The television ads are shared on YouTube and NDtourism.com and the print ads were also shared on our website and Facebook fan page.

Yesterday afternoon, one print ad started being widely shared on Facebook generating a great deal of comments – a majority of them negative.  Our first reaction was, “Wow!  Some people are just crude and watch too much reality TV.”  But as comments became, in some cases, downright offensive, we decided to remove the image from Facebook and our website.  We also became aware of blogs criticizing not just the ad but the entire state.

The media and public reaction that has followed in the past 24-hours has been a mixture of supportive, cautionary and critical.  This isn’t a canned statement – but just the honest way we feel:  This ad was intended to highlight nightlife, youthfulness and a girls-night-out in one of our city’s downtowns.  While we did not personally see the negative connotations that have since been implied, we take that feedback very seriously and are responding to it.  The ad will not run in publications as originally presented.  We are committed to promoting our vibrant city experiences and will create an ad that more accurately conveys the message we intended.

What’s most bothersome to those of us who have been involved in the creative campaign is not the fact that the ad has been attacked, but the fact that the models – who had such a fun experience at the photo shoot – have been personally bashed.  These are beautiful, REAL people who we are proud to have represent North Dakota and the fun, downtown Fargo nightlife that they truly do enjoy.  We apologize to them for the senseless and inappropriate things that people posted about them.

Here at North Dakota Tourism we aren’t “standing neutral with no point of view.”  We care passionately about North Dakota.  Criticism against the overall campaign and the state is unjustified.  We have research on our visitation, about our ad campaigns and our branding.  And the creative strategy and media buy are based on this research. According to the U.S. Travel Association, North Dakota has been outpacing the nation with increased visitor spending in seven of the past eight years.  Since the introduction of the Legendary brand 10 years ago, we’ve made great strides in showing more people the great history, culture, scenery, adventure and fun in North Dakota.  We have measured the results of our ad campaign since 2003 and the 2010 advertising  generated more than $277 million in visitor spending. This ad series works to showcase many of the experiences found here and that our visitors tell us they love.

Like Cheryl Dunning from Winnipeg, Manitoba who recently wrote us: I plan on coming back into North Dakota fairly regularly … Grand Forks is a favorite as is Fargo. I’d like to see Bismarck, Jamestown and well a lot of other places. I always find ways to have fun in North Dakota – from finding new places to eat to finding new things to take photos of. I look forward to returning time and time again to North Dakota.”

Thank you Cheryl.  We’re good enough and gosh darn it, people like us!  As travel expert and blogger Ted Sullivan wrote in his blog about Fargo – it’s quirky, unexpected and great place to visit.

Thank you to all of you sending us your tweets, posts and emails of support, like St. Paul Pioneer Press freelance writer Julie Forster who tweeted, “Yay, North Dakota! Love your ad. Can’t believe you pulled it” and Arla Jean Wood who told us on Facebook: “Fargo is a friendly college town! I really don’t see the intention of harm or insult in that ad. Downtown bars are an easy place to meet new people. That has ALWAYS been the case for me; when I was young and lived there and 10 yrs late when I go back to see friends. It’s always a fun party and that’s one of the biggest reasons why I love going home.”

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2012 in ND in the News

 

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Arrive a Guest. Leave a Legend.

Lewis and Clark may have invented the road trip, but you perfected it.

That’s just one of the themes in this year’s advertising campaign from North Dakota.  Here in North Dakota, Legendary vacations are possible.  Ten new print ads and six television spots showcase experiences such as hiking, history, family adventure, golf, culture and the great outdoors.

And once you’ve gotten a peek at North Dakota, there are new guides available to start planning your 2012 vacations and weekend getaways.  Both the official North Dakota Travel Guide and Hunting & Fishing Guide are available in both digital and print versions.  Printed versions are mailed free-of-charge with a state highway map.

The advertising campaign will play to audiences in Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Montana, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2012 in ND in the News, North Dakota Buzz

 

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So much to look forward to in 2012

As you’re getting ready to turn that calendar to a new year, grab your pen and start making plans to check out some new attractions and activities in North Dakota!

The International Peace Garden in the Turtle Mountains is known for its beauty, tranquility and symbolism. It’s a popular destination in the summer and now travelers can enjoy it in the winter. The Peace Garden has an extensive network of trails accessible for snowshoeing.  Snowshoes, walking poles and bindings can be rented from the interpretive center.  The interpretive center and conservatory are open year round.

The Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University is dedicated to preserving the legacy of America’s 26th President. A new presidential digital library gives scholars and visitors a new way to be inspired by Roosevelt.  Visit online or in-person – but be sure to package your visit with Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Always wanted to fish the Missouri River in the winter but your boat is stored away? No problem. Sakakawea Guide Service now offers unique houseboats with an opportunity to fish the Garrison Dam tailrace throughout the winter months.

Rolling Plains Adventures, near Bismarck, hosts guided hunts and ranch vacations and a new Grand Lodge will open in 2012. Based on Black Leg Ranch, the fifth generation ranchers/owners help guests discover ranch life with horseback riding and cattle drives plus home-cooked meals.

The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center expansion is slated to be open in February showcasing a new event center, library and production studio. More exhibits tell the story of the Corps of Discovery and others who journeyed through (now) North Dakota.  The Center is located in Washburn.

Also scheduled to be open in February is the new Enchanted Castle, a 20-room lodging facility in Regent – known as one stop along the Enchanted Highway. The front of the new hotel will have the appearance of a castle. Walk across the moat to enter the property.

Stay tuned for more great things coming to North Dakota in 2012.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2011 in Attractions, ND in the News, North Dakota Buzz

 

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Summer travel tips

If you’re traveling North Dakota this summer, look for state tourism personnel in unlikely places – like rest areas and gas stations.  We’ll be out-of-the-office Fridays in July, providing traveler assistance in terms of route and destination information as well as asking for brief travel information – like how long you’ve been planning your trip and if you’re traveling for business or pleasure.

And speaking of travel tips – here are a few resources to keep in mind as you’re planning your summer getaway.

Several travelers have been asking about flooding affecting their favorite North Dakota city or attraction.  The Tourism Division is keeping tabs on all affected routes and sites.  If you have questions, we can help.  Call our travel counselors at 1-800-435-5663.  Here are some hot updates:

For more North Dakota news – be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

And a quick “congratulations” to North Dakotan Amy Anderson who finished 63rd in her first professional golf tournament – the U.S. Women’s Open.  Golf the legendary courses that Amy has played in North Dakota – affordable, accessible, scenic golf in the state with the most courses per capita.

 

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Choices choices for the long weekend

We’ve got some great ways to enjoy the Independence Day weekend in North Dakota!  Celebrate Americana with a big ol Yee-Haw at Mandan Rodeo Days or Dickinson Roughrider Days.  These legendary events are part of “Cowboy Christmas.”  Or get thee to Medora where your celebration can include parade, fireworks, the famed Medora Musical, pitchfork fondue, golf, hiking Theodore Roosevelt National Park, touring the Chateau de Mores and much more!

Or perhaps you’re craving the tranquility of water at a picturesque lake.  From Lake Metigoshe on the North Dakota-Canadian border to great fisheries like Lake Sakakawea and Devils Lake – you can find your piece of chill served with a big walleye.

One of my personal faves for the weekend is the “Quasquicentennial” celebration in Hankinson.  I may not know how to pronounce the word for 125th anniversary but I do know organizers have planned a lot of fun events including a wife-carrying contest!  Talk about funny!

Find more events highlighted in our “What To Do” news release and on our website.

Flooding concerns?

Perhaps you’ve heard about floods and water issues affecting a few North Dakota towns and cities.  Rest assured, a vast majority of our attractions, events and visitor services are OPEN!  Our travel counselors are maintaining a great list of the areas affected and we’ve detailed the impact in this press release along with links to the North Dakota Dept. of Transportation for highway information and the ND State Parks and Recreation website for campground info.

We encourage visitors to plan ahead and check routes and services to ensure their vacation is filled with legendary fun!  Our free Travel Guide is a great planning tool.  Order it, along with maps and other free brochures, online.  Or stop at a North Dakota rest area and pick one up!

 

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