As the new year quickly approaches, we’re excited to officially share the news that Bellmont Partners was selected by the City of Duluth for its tourism marketing, beginning in 2022. As longtime visitors to Duluth ourselves, we’re thrilled to be putting our years of tourism experience to work for the city in what is truly a dream assignment. Bellmont Partners is partnering with Lawrence & Schiller (L&S), a leading marketing agency with offices in Minnesota and South Dakota, to offer exceptional integrated marketing capabilities to support the City of Duluth’s tourism goals. Additionally, our agency is expanding with a new office in Duluth, which will allow for an even deeper connection to the Duluth community.
“We’re excited to work with Bellmont Partners and Lawrence & Schiller as Duluth embarks on a new chapter in tourism marketing,” says Duluth Mayor Emily Larson. “As we elevate the brand of Duluth and attract new visitors, their data-driven, storytelling approach will help us highlight the many attractions, neighborhoods and hidden gems our community has to offer.”
Partnering to elevate Duluth
Following a competitive RFP process that drew 28 applicants from across the country, the Duluth City Council voted to approve Bellmont Partners as the selection committee’s preferred vendor in August 2021. Bellmont Partners and L&S will begin a $1.8 million annual contract January 1, 2022. In addition to working closely with the City of Duluth’s leaders, our teams are also looking forward to collaborating with Visit Duluth, which has served as the community’s destination marketing organization for over 80 years and will continue to work on behalf of the community through convention, event and sports sales and visitor center services in 2022.
“From the moment we saw the RFP for this opportunity, we knew this would be a perfect project for Bellmont Partners and L&S’s combined tourism passion, experience and skillsets,” says Shelli Lissick, Partner at Bellmont Partners. “We’re thrilled to now use that expertise to tell the stories of Duluth’s destinations, businesses and people to audiences in Minnesota and across the country.”
Bellmont Partners has been named PR Daily’s PR Agency of the Year and ranked as Minnesota’s top travel and tourism PR agency by O’Dwyer’s. We served as the PR agency of record for Explore Minnesota Tourism from 2016 through 2020, promoting the entire state – including Duluth. L&S has a 45-year history in boosting business KPIs for travel and tourism entities in Minnesota and South Dakota, with campaigns earning awards including Adrian Awards, Mercury Awards, Telly Awards and Minnies, as well as honors from the American Advertising Federation. Bellmont Partners and L&S have worked together closely since 2018, combining our two teams’ deep expertise and fresh perspectives in marketing, communications, strategy, advertising, creative, social media, public relations and more to exceed expectations for clients in an array of industries. Bellmont Partners’ headquarters is also home to L&S’s Minneapolis office – a shared physical space that has our two teams working as one for clients. This deep, collective expertise in tourism marketing brings new visions for iconic destinations to life through sophisticated strategies and authentic storytelling with national, regional and local audiences.
Duluth’s tourism business joins a growing roster of recent wins for Bellmont Partners’ Tourism & Hospitality practice group, including Radisson Blu Mall of America, Camp Birchwood, FINNEGANS Brew Co. and Taste of the NFL.
Becoming part of the Duluth community with a new office
With clients based across the state, we’ve been considering opening an office in a community outside of the Twin Cities for some time, and our new relationship with Duluth is the perfect opportunity to move forward. Bellmont Partners is expanding and opening a second office this month, located at 310 E. Superior Street in Duluth’s Historic Arts and Theatre District. With frequent trips to Duluth in our future, we’re thrilled to have a found a home base in the city.
Throughout our 25-year history, we have woven collaboration with and investment in community into everything we do – and these core values will extend to our presence in Duluth. For starters, the agency has joined the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce and is looking forward to being an active member of the business community, especially after attending the Chamber’s impressive annual meeting and presenting at Leadership Duluth’s Arts & Tourism Day. During our onboarding period, we’ve had the opportunity to begin meeting with some of Duluth’s attractions, business owners and associations – all passionate, welcoming leaders who care deeply about the area’s tourism. Lastly, Bellmont Gives Back, a program established in 2017 that allots company time to volunteer in the community and provide pro bono consulting to nonprofit organizations, will also be part of the agency’s presence in – and commitment to – Duluth.
“Our love for Duluth and commitment to the community runs deep,” says Megan Anderson, Account Director and lead of the Tourism & Hospitality practice group at Bellmont Partners. “We have enjoyed beginning to get to know the people and businesses of Duluth even better over the past several weeks as we ramp up to 2022 and are excited to be active members of the local business community. We look forward to partnering with the city’s most beloved attractions, hidden gems and everything in between to share far and wide what makes Duluth a top destination for travelers.”