Regional Planning Approach to Attract Tourism West of the Twin Cities

Located less then 15 miles west of Downtown Minneapolis, Lake Minnetonka is already popular, but the 14 cities near the lake have created a regional coalition to improve the lake experience.
February 17, 2014, 11am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Fourteen cities near Lake Minnetonka in the Metropolitan Twin Cities area "want to entice more people to do, boosting tourism by rebranding the area as a year-round regional destination and revamping lakefront attractions," writes Kelly Smith. The plans would remake the towns on the lakefront in the model of "places like Key West, Naples, San Diego or Duluth."

Included in the plans:

  • A scenic byway around the lake, so tourists can tour the entire lake.
  • The Wayzata Lake Effecta 10-year concept plan to improve access and amenities on Wayzata’s (considred the gateway to Lake Minnetonka) lakefront
  • "An ambitious concept to boost access to its lakefront for everyone from pedestrians to boaters by adding docks, a pier and lake walk."
  • And "new bike lanes, added temporary boat slips and a food vendor at a beach house that houses storage and public restrooms."

Not everyone is supportive of the plans to increase access to the lake. Mary Bader, a longtime resident and former City Council member is quoted an earlier article describing her resistance to the potential changes: “Do we need a massive redevelopment plan for what is basically a nice little town? No, I don’t think so, and I don’t think most people in Wayzata think so."

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Published on Friday, February 14, 2014 in Minneapolis Star Tribune
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