Assessment of Blandin Community Broadband Program: Iron Range Tourism Bureau

Every year, the Blandin Foundation does an assessment of how the Blandin Broadband Communities projects. Here’s the update from Iron Range Tourism Bureau …

The Iron Range Tourism Bureau (IRTB) BBC is the first “community of interest” to participate in the program as a Blandin Broadband Community. IRTB is a tourism association that serves the communities of Hibbing, Chisholm, Buhl, Mountain Iron, Virginia, Eveleth, Fayal Township, Gilbert, Biwabik, Aurora, Embarrass, and
Hoyt Lakes. The IRTB team‘s goal as a BBC was to help small tourism businesses better use the internet and technology to attract new visitors to the area.
Attracting and retaining workforce is a big concern for tourism businesses. To address this challenge the team is implementing two projects in 2020: a “local pride” campaign promoting activities and opportunities available on the Range, and a “talent attraction” microsite targeted at people considering moving to the area.
Another priority for the IRTB BBC was to improve the digital marketing and social media
skills of the region’s tourism businesses through one-on-one trainings, professional design services, and equipment upgrades.
Arts are a great asset throughout the region, but not always very visible to the general
public. IRTB is showcasing the work of area artists and cultural opportunities in the region by creating a digital map. The map will help raise resident and visitor awareness of arts opportunities, increase the audience for cultural events and improve artists’ ability to market their work.

Empowering community members creative expression, while educating the community and potential visitors about life and culture in the region, is the aim of the Stories of the Mesabi project. IRTB will teach people how to create their own documentary about their experience of the region, and their stories will be shared online. A particular emphasis will be placed on diverse experiences.
Another community video and photo project will focus more squarely on tourism with a specific attraction or recreational activity featured monthly online. The Sounds of the Mesabi project will also find a home on IRTBs website. This adventure in sound could include ATV engines, waves on the shore, or mining trucks.

Empowering community members creative expression, while educating the community and potential visitors about life and culture in the region, is the aim of the Stories of the Mesabi project. IRTB will teach people how to create their own documentary about their experience of the region, and their stories will be shared online. A particular emphasis will be placed on diverse experiences.
Another community video and photo project will focus more squarely on tourism with a specific attraction or recreational activity featured monthly online. The Sounds of the Mesabi project will also find a home on IRTBs website. This adventure in sound could include ATV engines, waves on the shore, or mining trucks.

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