Destination

Red River Region

What is Destination Red River Region?

Destination Red River Region is a team of 15 people from throughout Region 4, Manitoba, and the State. The Red River Regional Council is serving as the project manager.

Roger Brooks

Roger Brooks is one of the nation’s leaders in helping to create amazing communities and destinations. Roger is currently working with the Destination Red River Region Team which began with a monthlong, on-the-ground assessment in October 2021.

Roger has since provided workshops of his findings, as well as thousands of photos from every assessed community. 

Secret Shopping Assessment at a Glance

42 Communities Assessed

All incorporated cities in Region 4

2,000+ Photos Taken

RRRC has created a public online library

Recreational Areas Visited

State, county and city parks, dams, lakes, Pembina Gorge, and Frost Fire

Four County Workshops Held

150+ observations and suggestions provided 200+ attendees

Five Focused Conversations

Walhalla, Grafton, Frost Fire, Rendezvous Region, Large Employers/Elected Officials

Opportunities and Obstacles

Attitude

Why do we talk so poorly about living here and have a resistant attitude towards amenity development and investment?

One Shot

Marketing gets visitors one time and product (what we offer) ultimately concludes if they come back or not

Create Community Living Rooms

Welcoming places to gather, have fun, programmed 250+ days/year, retail follows where people are

ND Ranks Low for Public Lands

Limits recreation development comparatively

Quality of Life

Leading factor in economic development today, small towns can capitalize on this

Lack of State/Region Identity

ND has the lowest state tourism/marketing budgets in the country

Immediate Suggestions

  1. Safety
  2. Good education system
  3. Engaged community
  4. Signs of positive change happening
  5. Life after 6:00 pm and on weekends
  6. Top notch recreation
  7. Quality healthcare
  8. Ample amounts of walking and biking trails
  9. Affordable, available, and quality housing
  10. LAST – JOB – a complete shift from previous generations
  1. Increase retail and hospitality spending and fills “leakage” when residents shop elsewhere
  2. Front door for possible new residents – everyone visits before relocating or investing
  3. Visitors have a low impact on community assets
  4. Monetize visitor trips by creating itineraries
  5. Promote the best of what you have – AND DELIVER
  • Businesses – hours of operation, invite back, prominent and legible
  • Cities
  • Wayfinding
  • Trails
  • Informational
  • Update/Create websites
  • Claim Google listings
  • Add hospitality and lodging to online travel sites
  • Encourage ratings and respond to customers
  • Create local destination development groups to champion
  • Cross-representation of government, nonprofit, private sector, and young people

Next Steps

  • Debrief with state partners/leaders
  • Public Questionnaire live now at http://bit.ly/WeighInNow
  • Model city selection and recommendations
  • Regional brand review/recommendation
  • Action Plan – specific recommendations for each county (early 2022)
  • Regional Team meets every Friday to plan next steps
  • 2022 ND Travel Industry conference will be in Grand Forks in April and Roger will be invited to be a keynote speaker

Funding Partners: