Pride/Taylor/Kiwanis Weekend

The week of June 19-25 was a big one in Minneapolis as an estimated 500,000 people visited the city for one or more events, including Taylor Swift concerts at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Twin Cities Pride Festival at various sites around the city and the Kiwanis International Convention at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Those events – combined with those that are regularly hosted – translated into a record-breaking weekend for hotels in the city, with 19,531 room nights sold.

Weekend Event Analysis

Zartico’s Destination Operating System is a strategic planning solution that provides visibility into the movement of people and economic opportunities. This report helps us understand the impact of a large event weekend on the visitor economy in Minneapolis.

Pride/Taylor/Kiwanis Weekend Results

All those events translated into a record-breaking weekend for the city:

  • On Friday-Saturday, June 23-24, Minneapolis set a new all-time record for total hotel rooms occupied on a weekend with 19,531.
  • On Friday, June 23, Minneapolis matched its highest occupancy night of 2023 at 96.3%. That mark was also reached on Tuesday, June 13 with the USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships at the MCC, a Twins-Brewers game at Target Field, and other events in the city.
  • The 9,888 hotel rooms occupied on both June 13 and June 23 were an all-time high for a single night in Minneapolis hotels.
  • The 96.3% hotel occupancy was the highest since Oct. 24, 2019 (97.5%).
  • Minneapolis hotels recorded nearly $6 million in total guest room revenue on Friday-Saturday, June 23-24.

USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships

The inaugural USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships for the 11-13 age divisions took place on June 14-17 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The event featured nearly 60 courts inside the MCC and drew 48,000 attendees from around the nation, resulting in 24,500 rooms sold for Minneapolis hotels. The tournament was the third-highest attended event in 2023 at the MCC, trailing only the Northern Lights Volleyball Qualifier and the Twin Cities Auto Show.

Photo by Texas Star

Gay Softball World Series

Leading up to Labor Day, 225 teams and more than 6,000 attendees visited Minneapolis for the 2023 NAGAAA Gay Softball World Series, marking one of the largest ever editions of the annual event. More than 56,000 hotel rooms were occupied from Aug. 27 to Sept. 2, the highest in-demand week at Minneapolis hotels since October of 2019. That week capped a successful summer as demand for hotel rooms in Minneapolis increased nearly 11% compared to the summer of 2022.

Youth Volleyball Hub

Record-breaking Conventions

MLK Day Civil Rights Playlist

This fun, yet educational activity’s goal is for staff to learn how music and singing played a critical role in inspiring, mobilizing, and giving voice to the civil rights movement.

Business Case of EDIA Learning Experience

Staff participated in a learning experience on the importance of EDIA as a strategic competitive advantage.

Black History Month Learning Experience: Science Museum’s Race & Bias Exhibits

This learning session involved a field trip to the Science Museum of Minnesota to help staff learn more about bias, and the social construct and science behind race. Staff saw two exhibits, "The Bias Inside Us" curated by the Smithsonian and "RACE: Are We So Different?"

Black History Month and culture learning experience with Penumbra Theater

Meet Minneapolis collaborated with Penumbra Theater, a local African American theater, to do a professional development session on March 20, for Meet Minneapolis and partnered hotel staff. The learning goal is to help participants become culturally fluent about Black history and cultures during Black History Month.

AAPI Heritage Month: Stories Behind the Food at Eat Street Crossing

Staff recognized Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage (AAPI) month by participating in a learning activity call “Stories Behind the Food.” This learning session took place at Eat Street Crossing, a new and exciting food hall located on Eat Street, and included the Asian American panelists.

Speaker Series/In Focus: Stories behind the Storefront

Meet Minneapolis and Minnesota Public Radio presented a community conversation about creating an inclusive recovery. The event, IN FOCUS: Stories behind the Storefront, at Hook and Ladder Theater & Lounge, was a panel discussion featuring Lake Street business owners, led by MPR News host Angela Davis. The hour-long radio program was taped live, edited, and presented on MPR news.

LFG Documentary Watch Party

MMLP held a documentary watch party on August 30 to coincide with FIFA Women’s World Cup and Women's Equality Day on August 26. Attendees learned that Women help drive and sustain the U.S. and world economy, yet they are paid 84 cents to the dollar that men are paid for the same work. Pay disparities are even more pronounced for BIPOC women, and women with disabilities. This pay disparity is highlighted by the U.S. Women Soccer team’s lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation.

George Floyd Square Pilgrimage

About 40 Meet Minneapolis staff attended Meet Minneapolis’ George Floyd Square Pilgrimage. They learned more about the history of the neighborhood through a panel discussion about Minneapolis residents who were impacted by Floyd’s death and the civil unrest. The learning session was curated by the George Floyd Global Memorial, an organization with the mission to end racism through racial healing.

Warm Winter Clothing Drive

The second annual Meet Minneapolis Warm Winter Clothing Drive wrapped up in January as hundreds of items of new, warm clothes were donated to Hennepin Healthcare for distribution to patients in need. Since November 2023, Meet Minneapolis, its tourism and hospitality partner businesses, and individuals came together to gather more than $10,000 worth of clothing items. These new clothing items will assist Hennepin Healthcare in its mission to discharge patients with dignity.

2024: Future Impact

Multi-Year Destination Development Initiatives

Thank you to our 2023 Board Members