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Agile Computing Authors: Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Tim Fujita-Yuhas, Elizabeth White

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'Energetic' Remarks Made By Mayor Rybak, Meet Minneapolis & Minneapolis Convention Center

Sustainability Efforts Exceeding Goals and Tourism Sweepstakes Announced Today

MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Earlier today, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, Meet Minneapolis President and CEO Melvin Tennant and Jeff Johnson, executive director of the Minneapolis Convention Center, made some "energetic" announcements, which focused on:

  • The City of Minneapolis' eco-focused sustainable philosophies, initiatives and goals;
  • and a high "Volt"-age online sweepstakes with the goal of promoting tourism

Eco-Focused Initiatives Update

The remarks were held just prior to the second annual NRG Summit for city planners and leaders on sustainable projects, and in front of the interactive "Eco-Focused Display" inside the Minneapolis Convention Center, which illustrates the multiple ongoing initiatives that are improving the environment, the economy and the overall quality of life in Minneapolis.

Reinforcing the fact that Minneapolis is one of America's most eco-focused cities, Johnson provided updated information on the city's sustainability philosophy and goals. Last year, Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC) adopted a three-year plan with three main eco-focused goals to reach by 2015 involving energy efficiency, reducing water usage and cutting down on waste.

The energy efficiency goal was shattered as the MCC is currently nearly 20 percent more efficient than last year. This was done in several ways, including replacing some light fixtures with LED. The MCC is now 30 percent more energy efficient than similar buildings in the climate region, which has resulted in saving $1 million in the past year.

Water usage is currently at a six percent reduction. Much work has been done in 2012 that will result in achieving the 50 percent goal by 2015, including replacement of fixtures in restrooms, installing a more efficient dish washer in the catering operation and other water-saving measures.

As of today, 50 percent of all waste generated in the MCC is recycled, well on the way to the 75 percent goal for 2015. By using such tactics as color-coded bags and new balers for different materials and operational changes, the MCC is making huge strides in recycling. This is a major undertaking as the convention industry generates waste second only to the construction industry.

Looking ahead, the MCC's near-future plans include completing commissioning, replace HVAC controls, harvesting and re-using rainwater for irrigation and working toward achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Existing Building and Operations and Management status for the 23-year old facility. A companion website for the eco-focused display and public tours will launch later this year.

"Go Minneapolis Getaway" Sweepstakes

The mission of the Meet Minneapolis, Convention and Visitors Association, is to market, sell and maximize the visitor experience of Minneapolis for the economic benefit of our community. In 2011, Minneapolis/St. Paul received 26.8 million visitors. Although final year-end production numbers are still being processed, Tennant was able to share updates on two key performance indicators. Meet Minneapolis already confirmed approximately 474,000 future group room nights exceeding Meet Minneapolis' goal of 460,000. "We blew the doors off of the MCC revenue goal of $14 million by securing more than $14.8 million in revenue," he said.

New Meet Minneapolis' goals for 2013 include:

  • Hotel room night bookings of 475,000
  • MCC revenue of $15.25 million
  • Leisure Room Nights of 60,000
  • Unique Website Visitors of 1.5 million Group room nights of 474,000
  • And Earned Media Impressions of at least 400 million

So, in keeping with the theme of bringing energy to Minneapolis, Tennant announced the launch of an online tourism driver created to increase visitor counts to the City by Nature in first quarter 2013 and beyond: the "Go Minneapolis Getaway" Sweepstakes. The sweepstakes will be hosted on

The Sweepstakes and its communication efforts will be aimed at potential visitors living in the 400-mile radius from Minneapolis.

The grand prize for the "Go Minneapolis Getaway" Sweepstakes is a two-year lease for an energy-efficient 2013 Chevy Volt, donated by Select Heartland Chevy Dealers. The popular vehicle, an electric car that also runs on gas, is currently on display at the Minneapolis Convention Center on the first floor lobby near the Ballroom.

The high-voltage grand prize will be awarded on Saturday, March 16 in conjunction with the 40th Annual Twin Cities Auto Show, which will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center, March 9 – 17. In keeping with the celebration of the 40th Show, 40 grand prize finalists will be randomly selected from all online and mail-in entries collected today through March 4, 2013. Each will be asked to attend a ceremony in which the winner of the 2013 Chevy Volt lease will be declared.

The online sweeps also features eight fun-filled prize packages that will be awarded on a weekly basis. Each themed package will include a stay at a Meet Minneapolis member hotel, a tasty meal at a local restaurant and the chance to take part in a wide range of exciting entertainment outings. Experiences range from a night at the Guthrie to a personal shopping experience at Macy's; grabbing a Harlem Globetrotters game at Target Center to tickets to the Minneapolis Home & Garden Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center; and catching opening night of Disney on Ice to enjoying the roar of Monster Jam.

Official rules on how to enter the "Go Minneapolis Getaway" Sweepstakes, information on the Chevy Volt and prize packages, as well as great hotel, restaurant and attraction deals are all available on

No purchase necessary to win. Entrants must be 21 years of age or older and reside in Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, South Dakota or Wisconsin. Online entrants may submit one contest entry per day, each day of the eight weeks.

Meet Minneapolis is a private, not-for-profit, member-based association. It actively promotes and sells the Minneapolis area as a destination for conventions and meetings, works to maximize the visitor experience and markets the city as a desirable tourist destination to maximize the economic benefit of the greater Minneapolis area.

A blend of form and function, the MCC provides aesthetically pleasing and innovative solutions for a variety of conferences, trade shows and events. With nearly 480,000 square feet of trade show space, 87 column-free conference meeting rooms, a 28,000-square-foot ballroom, and an auditorium with superb production and flexible technology options, the facility can handle any event from a small meeting to a large convention or trade show.

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