Visit Saint Paul Presents Tourism Awards
(Photo courtesy of Visit Saint Paul)

Visit Saint Paul Presents Tourism Awards

The organization honored events and people contributing to tourism in the city over the past year.

Visit Saint Paul, the city’s convention and visitors bureau, late last week gave out five awards recognizing efforts to support travel and tourism in the city.

Lakeville-based medical software company ImageTrend Connect received the Meeting of the Year award. The company hosted its 11th annual Connect Conference in July at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, which has hosted the event for the past five years. About 700 people attend the event each year, with a total economic impact of $800,000, according to a press release issued by Visit Saint Paul.

The Event of the Year award went to Points of Light, a global nonprofit dedicated to accelerating volunteerism. Points of Light hosted its 2019 conference in Saint Paul in June, bringing together nonprofit, government, business, and civic leaders. The conference had an estimated economic impact of more than $2 million, with 2,000 attendees who came from 30 countries to the Saint Paul RiverCentre, according to Visit Saint Paul.

The Partner of the Year award went to Allianz Field and Minnesota United. Visit Saint Paul said it partnered with Allianz Field and Minnesota United to book visiting teams into downtown Saint Paul’s hotels when the teams stayed for matches and the international friendly competition. The partnership also brought the soccer podcast Men in Blazers to the Ordway Center for Allianz Field’s opening weekend.

Urban Growler Brewing Co., the first woman-owned microbrewery in the state, received the Member of the Year award for organizing the week-long Chroma Zone Mural and Art Festival. The brewery also provided its venue to events and local organizations. 

The Hometown Hero award went to Craig Cohen, developer and managing partner of the culinary and retail marketplace Keg & Case West 7th Market. The award recognizes someone “who has worked tirelessly to expand Saint Paul’s footprint as a coveted leisure and meetings destination,” according to Visit Saint Paul. The award recognized Cohen for the success of Keg & Case, which opened in September 2018. It topped the best new food halls list for USA Today’s 10Best readers’ choice award.