Dave Baker, who is a Republican Representative of the 17B District, came to St. Cloud State to discuss the MN tourism and hospitality industry. The event took place in the Alumni Room in the Atwood Memorial Center and was sponsored by the Geography and planning, Public Affairs and School of Travel and Tourism Club.
Before Mr. Baker ran for office he was running different businesses in the Willmar and Spicer area of Minnesota. For 15 years he has been owner and operator for four different business. His first business began in 1999.
“In 1999, I started my first business at Northern Inn hotel in Spicer.” Baker said. “A small hotel that started with 35 rooms” Baker said.
The hard work by Baker helped him continue to grow in the hospitality business where he has able to start three other businesses in the Willmar and Spicer. He has Melvin’s and the Green Lake cruises, The Oaks at Eagles Creek and a Super 8 motel that he runs.
This is a business where you need to enjoy serving people. The hospitality business is one where you serve to help or provide information to people.
“I feel blessed to be in this business” Baker said.
The tourism and hospitality business is a fun one if it fits the right person. You have to enjoy serving people and have to be humble in the job. The ability to say sorry when something goes wrong. Baker gives skills that he believes are important for working in this business.
“You have to be willing to put in the long days at work, having a good work ethic, love serving people and being honest” Baker said.
Another thing Baker does is that he is an advisor for explore Minnesota where he and about 30 to 40 more people give officers plans on what the advisors see in Minnesota. Baker and others come up with plans that help the Minnesota tourism business. Making sure the officials are putting up the right billboards and making sure parts of the Minnesota are not left out.
The tourism industry is an extremely important for Minnesota has it is the number two industry in the state right behind manufacturing. Baker talked about how important the business and how the 2018 Super Bowl in Minneapolis is going to affect the industry.
“It is a fabulous event for Minnesota” Baker said “We get to showcase the state, the new stadium and the people of Minnesota” Baker said.
With the huge event as the Super Bowl is Baker talks about some of the pressure that this huge event brings to the tourism industry for Minnesota.
“With all what has happened in the world lately. Security is going to be the number one worry for them to plan for” Baker said “It is enormous pressure for us” Baker said.
Baker says it is a huge win for Minnesota to have the Super Bowl to come here. We get to welcome many people from all over the country and show off Minnesota while doing so too.