Tag: hospitality

The future of Rochester’s workforce needs

In 2017, Rochester was ranked by ZipRecruiter.com as “One of the 10 Easiest Cities to Find a Job,” proof that the city is not only attracting new investment – it’s also the ideal place to build your career.

DMC planning estimates indicate that more than 30,000 jobs could be created in Rochester by 2035. Supporting this job growth will require sustained efforts from education, business, labor, and civic leaders.

While health care will account for many of the jobs, hospitality and construction will be important components in supporting the growth of America’s City for Health.

Perception is reality: Enhancing the visitor experience

Rochester residents and visitors are now able to provide feedback on their local hospitality experiences in a one-minute online survey.

Logo-Blue-ExperienceAccreditationThe Experience Dedicated Destination survey is just one facet of the Experience Accreditation program launched in April as a partnership between Mayo Clinic, the Rochester Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Destination Medical Center. It’s part of an overall effort to help make Rochester competitive in the worldwide healthcare market and position Rochester as a medical destination.

Getting feedback from visitors and community members on their experience with the program is important, says CVB Executive Director Brad Jones.

KROC: Rochester Launches FIRST Ever Hospitality Accreditation Program

Rochester is taking “Minnesota Nice” to a whole new level to enhance visitor’s stay in our city.
The Rochester Convention & Visitors Bureau, Mayo Clinic, and Destination Medical Center have partnered to develop the Experience Accreditation program focused on hotels, restaurants, retail, and transportation companies, according to a press release from RCVB.
Companies can apply for accreditation on the RCVB website here.

Businesses that are already accredited are: Scheels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Hers and Twigs, but according to the press release, several additional hospitality businesses have submitted applications.
“This program will promote high service standards and unmatched hospitality in our city. It is a valuable step forward in making Rochester an even better destination for patients and visitors with positive benefits for Rochester residents,” Brad Jones, executive director of the Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Rochester Launches Hospitality-Industry Accreditation Program

Rochester has launched a new hospitality industry accreditation initiative focused on hotels, restaurants, retail, and transportation companies to enhance the experience of patients, visitors, and community members.

The Rochester Convention & Visitors Bureau (RCVB), Mayo Clinic, and Destination Medical Center (DMC) have partnered to develop the Experience Accreditation program, a first of its kind hospitality initiative in the state of Minnesota.  “This accreditation initiative marks an important milestone in recognizing businesses who provide the highest quality customer experience,” said Brad Jones, executive director of the RCVB. “This program will promote high service standards and unmatched hospitality in our city. It is a valuable step forward in making Rochester an even better destination for patients and visitors with positive benefits for Rochester residents,” said Jones.

Businesses awarded accreditation have met standards developed by leaders from local hospitality businesses and organizations, related to customer service, staff development and guest satisfaction.  Specific accreditation requirements differ by business type and can include timely responses to visitor concerns and employee training through the national Certified Tourism AmbassadorTM program.  Additional requirements include restaurants offering menu options to meet the dietary needs for a variety of people and hotels displaying the RCVB’s destination guide video in guest rooms. Businesses awarded Experience Accreditation certificates include Scheels, Posh Boutique, Hers, Twigs Tavern & Grille, and Homewood Suites by Hilton.

Post Bulletin: City report supports Holiday Inn TIF

Stevan Kvenvold
Stevan Kvenvold

The city of Rochester administrative staff has put its support firmly behind the use of tax-increment financing in conjunction with one of the city’s most public development proposals, a Holiday Inn at Second Street Southwest.

City administration spent about three weeks compiling a report that reviewed development issues related to the Holiday Inn development and other development questions in the Second Street Southwest corridor. City Administrator Stevan Kvenvold provided the report to the Post-Bulletin on Tuesday.

“The city staff after that last (Destination Medical Center Corp.) Board meeting took it upon themselves to keep getting some information put together so we could keep continuing and hopefully make some decision for the developer, who has been at it for some time,” Kvenvold said Tuesday.

Embrace the Season with WinterFest and SocialICE

QuarryHill2014_452-658x330Winter is upon us! Rochester’s two favorite cold weather events, WinterFest and SocialICE, draw thousands from the region who embrace tugging on long johns and snow boots and heading out into the elements to enjoy all the activities. Quality public spaces contribute to the health, happiness, and well-being of a community and the development of such spaces is a key focus of DMC. These events, taking place in the Heart of the City, continue to evolve and move us closer to making the DMC vision a reality.

Community members nominated to new Mayo Civic Center Commission

Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede has submitted a list of seven people to serve on a newly created Mayo Civic Center Commission, reports the Rochester Post Bulletin on Dec. 13, 2013.

Mayo Civic Center
Mayo Civic Center

The story says, “the commission will replace the dual governing responsibilities of the Rochester City Council and city Park Board, and will oversee the Civic Center’s executive director, budget, marketing strategy, financial statements and audits and goal-setting.

“In addition, the group will oversee a planned, $80 million Civic Center expansion, for which local legislators and advocates hope to receive $37 million in state bonding money.”

The City Council must approve the nominees. They are:

Arts Community

Marv Mitchell, division chair, media support at Mayo Clinic and president of the Riverside Concerts Advisory Board

Hotel Industry

John Beltz, vice president, brand management and development, Titan Development and Investments; and Dan Nelson, general manager, Hampton Inn

Downtown business community

Jerrie Hayes, attorney and shareholder, Wendland Utz law firm, Rochester

Mayo Clinic employee

Heidi Mestad, Destination Medical Center manager, Mayo Clinic

Community At-Large

John Eischen, executive director, Rochester Area Builders Inc.

Event Industry

Shannon Knoepke, general manager, KROC radio


This group will work to attract more events and convention business to Rochester. What are your ideas to help with this important job?


A fresh twist on bland hospital food

Chef Justin Johnson picks banana peppers in the garden at UW Health Partners Watertown Regional Medical Center. (Photo from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
Chef Justin Johnson picks banana peppers in the garden at UW Health Partners Watertown Regional Medical Center. (Photo from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

The term “hospital food” often conjures up images of clear broth and mashed potatoes, with a splash of color from an occasional Jell-o square.

But Justin Johnson, executive chef at UW Health Partners Watertown Regional Medical Center, is “pulling the plug on heat-and-serve-chicken, frozen vegetables and prepackaged pudding,” according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which profiled the hospital’s new approach to hospital nourishment in August of 2012. The article includes some of his recipes – such as Roasted Yellow Heirloom Tomato Bisque and Steamed Little Neck Clams and Mussels with Roasted Fennel and Yellow Coconut Curry Broth.

Johnson incorporates fresh vegetables from a new 11,000 square-foot garden on the hospital’s grounds. The hospital also sources ingredients from a farmers market it hosts every Thursday in front of the hospital. Patients are able to order from room service at times convenient for them. And a new bistro featuring delicious and locally-sourced fare will serve employees and visitors.

Johnson’s efforts garnered him a nomination for a National Restaurant Association Award in the “Operator Innovations in Sustainability” category.

Not bad for a 50-bed regional hospital in a rural community between Madison and Milwaukee.

It gets one thinking about the possibilities with DMC – to have an organization like Mayo Clinic work with local farmers and farmers markets, to promote sustainability, to make nutritious foods fun, exciting and palatable, and to get rid of the institutional Jell-o once and for all.

Rochester offers health care that is world-class. Many local restaurants such as Sontes, Prescott’s and Four Daughters Winery are already developing locally-grown and sustainable menus that are being met with rave reviews. Having an organization like Mayo Clinic promote healthy lifestyles through its food service would continue to help set it apart from its competitors.

Do you think it’s a good idea? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Hospitality: Be our guest

Hotels and Hospitality is one of the 7 areas of focus for Destination Medical Center. The availability of clean, comfortable and accessible places to stay is an expectation for patients and visitors. But providing an optimal experience that people remember requires area lodging staff to take things a few steps further.

In this installment of “Gabe on the Street,” Gabriel talks to area lodging staff about what makes a stay memorable.

What hotel and hospitality experience did you have that was memorable? Share your story in the comments section below.