Editorial - Welcome, summer visitors! We're glad you're hereAnother summer is out there, waiting to be filled with all kinds of fun, shared experiences and opportunities to remember for a lifetime. Although the calendar pegs the official start of summer as June 20, in the Alexandria lakes area, we all know it’s really Memorial Day weekend. That’s when the lakes awake and the area starts hopping with activities.
Another summer is out there, waiting to be filled with all kinds of fun, shared experiences and opportunities to remember for a lifetime.
Although the calendar pegs the official start of summer as June 20, in the Alexandria lakes area, we all know it’s really Memorial Day weekend. That’s when the lakes awake and the area starts hopping with activities.
From now until Labor Day weekend, residents can get out of this summer whatever they decide to put into it.
One suggestion we offer: Let’s all try to be a little more friendly to all the out-of-town visitors who stop in to fish, swim, go boating, take a break from traveling on I-94 or take part in a community event, like “Awake the Lakes” this weekend.
All these travelers/vacationers/visitors mean a lot for our area and its future. Coni McKay, director of the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, said that studies have shown that every dollar an out-of-town person spends in our community on gas, food, lodging, entertainment, etc., turns over at least four times. That money supports jobs and economic growth.
How a community responds to its visitors says a lot about its personality and how others perceive it. Is it welcoming and friendly? Or cold and uncaring? Are people cheerful and helpful? Or stuffy and standoffish? Is it a place you’d want to return or a town to avoid?
An example of how a community’s personality can shine was demonstrated in Fargo when it hosted its annual Marathon Weekend, May 18-20. There were signs all over town, welcoming runners. Throngs of spectators carried signs and cheered the runners on. Residents living along the race route stood outside, waving and smiling. During Friday night’s 5K race in mid-90s heat, some put on their sprinklers and splashed the runners with cooling relief. Waitresses, noticing a runner’s T-shirt with the race logo, asked how the person did. Those working the cash registers did the same. The media contributed to the positive vibe with timely and extensive coverage of the events. No matter how they may have fared in the competition, participants had to feel good about how they were treated and left with a favorable impression of Fargo’s friendliness.
The Alexandria lakes area, of course, is also known for its friendly, accommodating way of making visitors feel at home. But there’s always room for improvement. So, this summer, let’s make a conscious effort to treat our out-of-town guests feel like royalty with bright smiles, genuine interest and a welcoming spirit that will keep bringing them back for more.