This coverage is made possible by a grant from The Saint Paul Foundation.

St. Paul says summer conventions brought $10 million in economic activity

Folks walking around downtown St. Paul with lost looks and asking for directions to the Mississippi River weren’t just a traffic hazard this summer — they were a font of economic wealth for the city, reports the convention bureau.

Nearly $10 million can be attributed to those attending conferences and convention in the city, says Visit Saint Paul, the city’s official convention and visitors bureau.

My favorite visitors: The International Old Lacers convention, which used the Crowne Plaza Hotel in early August. Their specialty: re-creating, studying and collecting old lace.

About 500 lacers from around country were here, says Lisa Huber of Visit St. Paul.

And while here, the group voted to change the organization’s name to: International Organization of Lace.

(I like the old name:, so reminiscent of the Cary Grant movie “Arsenic and Old Lace.”)

Other summer conventions in  St. Paul were:

  • Conference on Robotics and Automation (Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers)
  • Lifetouch Summer Annual Meeting
  • American Association of Meat Processors Annual Convention
  • Northern Tool & Equipment Employee & Vendor Conference
  • American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting
  • Self Advocates Becoming Empowered Annual National Convention

All the hotel rooms, restaurant visits and souvenir buying by attendees brings a ton of extra money to the city.

This was an exciting summer to showcase St. Paul to thousands of new visitors,” said Karolyn Kirchgesler, president of Visit Saint Paul. “We now turn our attention toward turning this into ‘return business’ and increasing the economic impact year after year.”

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