Editor’s Note-Presenting Minnesota

Editor’s Note-Presenting Minnesota

This is an issue we would want non-Minnesotans to read.

When delegates, guests, and news media representatives arrive in the Twin Cities for the Republican National Convention, they will be welcomed by 10,000 volunteers into a center of cosmopolitan attractions—cities of clean industries, clean streets, and clean government, where art galleries flourish, contemporary restaurants thrive, and sports and recreational opportunities are abundant.

When the convention visitors get here, this issue will be available on Minneapolis and St. Paul newsstands. And although we don’t harbor delusions that a large number of visitors will be seeking out local business magazines, it is an issue that we wish a large number of non-Minnesotans could read.

Begin with our cover story. As writer Camille LeFevre notes, for at least 15 years, no one had quibbled with the assertion by Minnesota’s convention and visitors associations, chambers of commerce, and tourism-promotion and economic development officials that the Twin Cities have more professional live theaters, more live-theater seats, more performances, and more productions than any U.S. city but New York. We would add that the cultural center of our state also surpasses metropolitan areas our size in the number and variety of performances in dance and music, and that the past three years have brought the addition of a half-billion dollars in cultural infrastructure in Minneapolis alone.

Another feature, “IBM’s Triple Play,” suggests local technological capability by reporting that the microprocessors for the Sony PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, and Microsoft Xbox 360 all were developed in Minnesota. A feature on Orfield Laboratories indicates capability in scientific testing. And if a visitor would turn to this year’s edition of our Best of Business feature, she would see dozens of indications of economic vitality, including a potential flurry of downtown construction, the potential expansion of light rail, outstanding performance by leading companies, and a breakthrough on a Billboard chart by the hip-hop duo Atmosphere.

There is, of course, much more we would like visitors to know about us, including some of the things other visitors have said. Just last year, Frommer’s named Minneapolis one of the world’s top 12 travel destinations for 2007. The president of Central Connecticut State University identified Minneapolis as America’s “most literate city”—and ranked St. Paul third. Travel+Leisure magazine’s survey of America’s favorite cities ranked Minneapolis and St. Paul together as first in cleanliness, second in intelligence, and third in friendliness.

And get this: Four years ago, Money magazine named Minneapolis the “Most Fun City in America.” Take that, Las Vegas! We’re friendly, clean, smart, and fun. We also own more boats per capita than residents of any other state; you should see us fish!

As you know, Minnesota is also a state of enterprise, evidence of which is plentiful. Although Minnesota has only 1.73 percent of the U.S. population, it is the headquarters of 4 percent of the country’s 500 largest publicly traded companies. Per capita, it has more Fortune 500 company headquarters—20 of them—than any other state.

In other words, Minnesotans are statistically more likely to be CEOs of Fortune 500 companies than residents of any other state. Minnesota also has 34 Fortune 1,000 companies (public companies with at least $1.63 billion in revenue)—more, on a per-capita basis, than any state but Connecticut.

There’s more. If you are a Minnesotan, you are also statistically more likely to be CEO of a private company with more than $1 billion in sales than you would be if you lived in all but three other states (Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Missouri). Forbes magazine reports that Minnesota has 13 such companies, including Cargill, the second-largest of them all.

Forbes also ranks the 400 wealthiest Americans, of whom eight were Minnesotans in 2004. As a Minnesotan, you are more likely to have made that list than if you lived elsewhere in the United States. And frankly, we think they missed a few Minnesotans who should have been listed.

Negatives? Well, certainly. Our visitors will have to contend with Minnesota’s weather, for example. They’ll be arriving in late August—so we hope they remember to bring sunscreen.