For two consecutive weeks (June 11-17 and June 18-24), Minneapolis hotel occupancy achieved 70%. This is a marked improvement from our 2022 year-end citywide occupancy of 46%. In the years just prior to the pandemic, our annual hotel occupancy was near 70%. As we have noted previously, a significant and ongoing reduction in business travel has been the primary factor in our slow recovery.
The recent positive numbers were fueled by two events at the Minneapolis Convention Center – the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships followed by the Kiwanis International Convention – along with the Taylor Swift concerts and Twins Cities Pride activities. Attending major sporting and special events is one of top reasons leisure visitors come to Minneapolis.
In its recently completed session, the Minnesota Legislature provided funding for major events that impact Minneapolis like the 2024 U.S. Gymnastics Olympic Trials, a potential WWE WrestleMania and the return of Taste of Minnesota. We are hopeful that the significant impact these investments have will encourage our lawmakers to continue to support our special event recruitment efforts.
Our Meet Minneapolis sales team continues to work hard securing meetings and conventions. While they may not have the same notoriety as a major sporting competition or festival, these events represent the bread and butter of the events we host. Some of the large and high-profile events we have on the books for the rest of the year include*:
- JUL 9-12 - American College of Surgeons Quality and Safety Conference (2,500 attendees)
- JUL 23-27 - Microscopy Society of America (2,800 attendees)
- JUL 29-AUG 3 - National Bar Association Annual Convention (1,000 attendees)
- AUG 8-9 - United Natural Foods Conventional/Natural Expo (3,275 attendees)
- AUG 22-24 - CONNECT Marketplace (3,000 attendees)
- AUG 28-SEP 2 - 2023 Gay Softball World Series (6,000 attendees)
- SEP 6-8 - Hispanic National Bar Association Annual Convention (1,200 attendees)
- OCT 1-4 - American Society for Healthcare Risk Management Annual Meeting (1,900 attendees)
- OCT 19-21 - ECKANKAR Soul Adventure Seminar (4,100 attendees)
- OCT 27-30 - American Society of Landscape Architects Conference (5,900 attendees)
In the future, our local hospitality community will be able to make additional destination sales and marketing investments as we finalize plans for our new Tourism Improvement District (TID).
This additive funding will allow us to pursue untapped markets and implement new strategies that will expedite the work to improve our industry performance. The TID will be directed by our local hotels, and the funding will work in concert with the destination sales and marketing investments Meet Minneapolis already makes.
* Attendance numbers are provided by partner organizations and are subject to adjustment based on meeting planner projections and post-event results.