With overwhelming member support, I am excited to announce the approval of the merger of Minnesota Lodging Association, Minnesota Restaurant Association and Minnesota Resort and Campground Association.
The new organization will be called Hospitality Minnesota to better reflect the growing industry. Combining the three associations provides a stronger and more unified voice for all efforts within the association including advocacy, programming and education.
Through the programs, events, products and service we offer, our members will find the support they need to anticipate trends in the market, manage their operations, develop their workforce, create unique customer experiences and navigate the regulatory landscape. The new Hospitality Minnesota association will officially launch April 1, 2020.
As we move into this new future together, I want to make a commitment to all of you: Danny Meyer, founder of the Union Hospitality Group, in an often-cited quote, says "Hospitality exists when you believe that the other person is on your side." I want you to know, Hospitality Minnesota association is on your side, and we will strive every day to demonstrate it by helping you grow your business, build great teams ans advocate for what you need.
We are excited about our bright future and look forward to working with you to build the Hospitality Minnesota association.
President and CEO
You might have some of these questions:
Why are these three associations merging now and how is it in the best interests of membership?
The organization needs to be more reflective of the industry today, and the time has come to update our programs and services to meet our member’s needs. Our members in the restaurant, lodging, resort and campground sectors face many of the same business challenges and create many of the same opportunities, so it makes sense to leverage resources to address those while also attending to issues that are unique to each sector. Coming together, as many other hospitality associations around the country are doing, strengthens the reach, influence and impact of the industry as a whole.
Why does it matter to me and my business?
For you, it means a stronger association partner and new industry relationships to move your business forward. Our service and commitment to you will not change, but the connections and benefits will be stronger and more valuable. We’ll focus on the long-term vision for the industry, while you focus on growing a successful business in it.
I’m worried the issues that matter most to me will get lost or diluted. How can I be sure my issues will be a priority?
It’s an understandable concern that many of your fellow members serving on the board shared. Considerable time was spent on this topic during the deliberations, resulting in a strong commitment on the part of all to ensure that there is fair and balanced attention given to the issues of each of the core sectors. That will happen best if members stay involved. There will be many opportunities to be engaged in how we shape positions, programs and products.
What will change?
Actually, very little, except that we’ll become more efficient and effective. What many people don’t realize is that the three associations have been “silent partners” for more than 50 years. Administratively, what has happened for one association has needed to happen for all of them. Adding the management company (HM) and the education foundation (HMEF) on top of that, there is a lot of redundancy. By moving to one association board and one foundation board, we’ll streamline the administrative work we spend time on, and turn our focus to creating more value. The employees of the Hospitality Minnesota management company, currently serving all three associations, will become the staff of the combined entity. Please review the proposed merger plan, bylaws and articles of incorporation for full detail on the structure and operating practices of the proposed combined entity.
Will my dues go up? Go down?
We don’t anticipate making any changes to the dues structure for Active Members of any of the associations for the coming year. We will review our dues structure and event fees in 2020 to ensure they reflect the value of the services and benefits received by our members. Allied and Tourism Partner membership dues will be reviewed in the same way.
Why should I continue to be (or become) a member?
It is an exciting time to be involved with Hospitality Minnesota. We believe that you’ll continue to enjoy the relationships that have supported you in your own association and benefit from building new ones in the other sectors. As we come together by managing our collective resources more efficiently and effectively, we’ll add new programs and services Our vision includes a collaborative approach where we work together to find solutions that move your business forward.