Brooklyn Park Votes To Cut Ties with Tourism Bureau
The city of Brooklyn Park plans to cut ties with a nonprofit that works to promote tourism to the city.
The Brooklyn Park City Council approved plans to split with Minneapolis Northwest Tourism on Monday, Nov. 27.
Minneapolis Northwest Tourism was founded in 1986. Maple Grove, Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center were all members of the organization until Maple Grove left in 2021.
Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center initially considered leaving the organization. However, in Dec. 2022, they decided to restructure the organization to better suit their needs.
That restructuring included a rewriting of the bylaws, rebranding and a new job description for an incoming CEO.
Now, Brooklyn Park is reconsidering its decision to stick with the bureau.
Brooklyn Park Says Bureau Ignored Feedback
Brooklyn Park city staff and Mayor Hollies Winston have accused the organization of ignoring their feedback.
“It was almost as if it was a voice shouting in the darkness and it wasn’t really listened to,” Winston said. “So for me, that part was distasteful and frankly, I don’t know that our city is interested in having partners like that.”
They also questioned the organization’s process for hiring an interim CEO.
“There were issues with voting, there were serious issues with the search process,” said Breanne Rothstein, economic development and housing director for the city of Brooklyn Park. “When I brought those concerns up, I was not considered and also kind of disrespected.”
Winston said he felt the board disrespected the cities of Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center.
“People felt that we should settle,” Winston said. “I don’t want to partner with people who think we’re lucky to have people in our presence. People are lucky to work with us.”
Meanwhile, members of the organization asked the council to consider the benefits it brings to the hospitality industry.
“This hard earned money, we should spend [it] in the hospitality field,” said Khal Qureshi, a hotel owner and Minneapolis Northwest Tourism board member. “If we decided to terminate, I don’t think that would be fair to us.”
Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center fund the tourism board’s operations with a tax on hotel rooms.
Brooklyn Park expects to leave the organization by late December unless changes are made before then.
“They do have an opportunity to cure the breach, and if they do not cure it, that means the agreement would end,” said Kim Berggren, Brooklyn Park’s director of community development. “We determine if the cure is adequate or not.”