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Festival of Sail could bring great economic impact to Duluth

DULUTH- Big ships mean a big economic impact here in the Twin Ports.

Last time Duluth hosted an event like this 100,000 people showed up over the three days.

That is when the tall ships were in town over a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

This year the festival opened on Sunday and runs through Tuesday.

Organizers say despite the changed schedule they are still on track to hit 100,000 people again.

Planning this year’s festival was strategic.

With the Blues Festival over the weekend, organizers wanted to create a way to extend activities into the week to see how it would affect visitors experience.

“Bayfront blues is already a very busy weekend. So to see the Festival of Sail go into the week, see how that spreads out lodging availability restaurant wait times, congestion, traffic and hopefully improve the overall visitor experience,” Maarja Anderson Hewitt with Visit Duluth said.

Businesses in the Canal Park area are also saying they have seen sales go up because of the events.

“We have seen such great success around here we look forward to festivals like this one especially with the two merging this weekend its just great energy around here,” Andrea Johnson with Duluth Pack said.

Organizers say the Blue’s Festival alone brings in 8 to 10 million dollars each year.

They hope this extended weekend will bring in, even more, this time around.

John Cardinale

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