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Hospitality Minnesota Report: 3 Branches Unite

Dave Sincebaugh, chief operating officer at Kaskaid Hospitality and outgoing board chair of the Minnesota Restaurant Association, was the host for the evening at Quincy Hall. To the right,  is Elle Rhodes, emcee for the evening, from Fulton and the Brewing Change Collaborative. 


I have exciting news to share! On April 1, 2020, the Minnesota Restaurant Association will join forces with the Minnesota Lodging Association and the Minnesota Resort and Campground Association to become one association known as Hospitality Minnesota. 

Discussions about a potential merger began a year ago as the leaders of all three boards of directors explored the possibilities for working better together. The case to merge quickly became clear, to better leverage our collective strength than continuing as separate associations. At their Fall 2019 board meetings, the association boards strongly supported the plan and voted to merge. The merger was approved when more than 90 percent of the active members from all three associations cast their ballot in January. 

As industry cousins, the three associations have been providing leadership in the hospitality industry through a single management company for more than 60 years. Looking to the future of innovation and change and to all the issues common across the sectors, it makes sense to organize under one umbrella and put collective resources to the best use for our members and Minnesota’s hospitality industry. 

So, what will this mean for our members and for the industry at large? We think a lot.

The industry will experience stronger advocacy at the local, state and federal level through a broader, statewide network of businesses leading the hospitality industry in Minnesota. With our lodging peers, we tend to have stronger relationships in Minnesota’s towns and cities, while those in the resort and campground sector are stronger in Greater Minnesota. Joined together, we’ll be a formidable force for our industry. 

By simplifying our structure, we’ll be able to put more resources toward addressing key business problems. After all, the central aim of this association is to provide solutions to help strengthen and grow member businesses.

We plan to increase networking and referral opportunities across sectors, geography and issues of interest as we come together — sometimes within our sector and sometimes with lodging, resort and campground owners and operators. More people will come to know one another and create increased opportunities for industry businesses across the broader hospitality ecosystem.

What specifically might this look like? We’re hard at work to imagine and plan that future, and while not everything will be able to happen right away, the kinds of ideas that have come up during our merger conversations include:

New employee training and development programs, leveraging resources provided by the national organizations of our new partners.

Expansion of the ProStart, Hospitality Tourism Management Program as well as ServSafe and ServSuccess certification for industry professionals that will provide a career ladder and build a stronger workforce pipeline.

Regional events that will connect hospitality and tourism businesses across Minnesota.

New product and service agreements with vendors that will result in enhanced programs and savings for your business.

Access to more relevant business intelligence through research and information sharing that can help you make better decisions.

More help advocating for the issues that impact your businesses.

The Minnesota Restaurant Association has served as key voice for our restaurant and foodservice businesses for nearly 90 years. As we embark on the next 90 years as Hospitality Minnesota, we welcome your participation in shaping our future that will be stronger together. 

About Hospitality Minnesota: 

Hospitality Minnesota serves more than 2,000 hospitality businesses across the state. Formed in 1956 to serve the Minnesota Restaurant Association, the Minnesota Lodging Association and the Minnesota Resort and Campground Association, Hospitality Minnesota advocates for the interests of business owners and their employees and provides opportunities for education and training to grow and strengthen the hospitality industry in Minnesota. Hospitality Minnesota is committed to helping member businesses succeed.  www.hospitalityminnesota.com

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