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Hello from Minneapolis, TBEX attendees! We’re thrilled to welcome you to our dynamic city and region next month.

Minneapolis isn’t your normal metropolis; it’s the City by Nature. Only in Minneapolis can you step outside your hotel and kayak the Mississippi River, and then watch a Broadway show at one of our historic theaters just down the street. Stop at one of our many Nice Ride Minnesota bike-share stations and conquer our bike friendly city on two wheels, then browse our fashionable boutiques where you’ll enjoy tax-free shopping for apparel and shoes. Enjoy cuisine from James Beard award-winners, and then get inspired at our world-renowned art galleries and museums or our top-rated Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. Paddle board on one of our famous lakes and then take in a professional sports game at one of our top-ranked stadiums with five professional sports teams.

No matter the season, the City by Nature is the premier year-round destination. You’ll arrive on the cusp of a brilliant Minnesota summer, when locals get outside and stay put as long as possible. We eat outside. We walk, bike and Segway outside. We watch plays and concerts outside. And while we do many of these things year-round, you’ll find there’s no better time to experience Minneapolis than summertime.

MINNEAPOLIS IS A’CHANGIN

You may know Bob Dylan once was a resident of Minneapolis (if you did not, you’ll see his five-story face on the side of a building downtown in a mural by Eduardo Korba), and lyrics from his famous song describes the current state of things today – change is happening. Minneapolis is growing and advancing in so many ways you may not recognize us in a year or two. (You may want to plan your return trip now!)

TBEX attendees will see a skyline lined with construction cranes as far as the eye can see; Minneapolis has a number of hotels under construction, a soon-to-be-opened $1 billion multi-purpose stadium coming in late summer and the city’s “main street” thoroughfare Nicollet Mall is being reimagined and reconstructed — and those are just a few things happening in the city.

U.S. BANK STADIUM WILL OPEN IN JULY 2016

The iconic stadium taking shape on the east end of downtown features a design that is authentic to the state of Minnesota, and although it is fully enclosed by the country’s largest ETFE roof, it will let in the sun and give fans terrific views of the sky and skyline. Five of the world’s largest pivoting doors will open out to downtown Minneapolis.

NICOLLET MALL $50 MILLION RECONSTRUCTION UNDERWAY

A complete reconstruction is transforming Nicollet Mall, which is home to more than 130,000 jobs, retail, restaurants and lots of city life. This transit and pedestrian mall will be updated and re-envisioned to keep it attractive and vibrant, including features that prioritize the space for pedestrians, with more trees, enhanced sidewalk spaces, improved lighting and places for people to enjoy the city. The project will be completed in 2017.

MINNEAPOLIS SCULPTURE GARDEN $10 MILLION RENOVATION TO BE COMPLETED BY MAY 2017

One of the crown jewels of the Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board’s system is the over-20-year-old Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, which unites our greenspace with our cultural life via the Walker Art Center. The 11-acre site showcases more than 40 works of art from the Walker’s renowned collection and will receive new and updated landscaping and art works when it reopens in May 2017.

MINNEAPOLIS HOSTS SUPER BOWL LII, NCAA MEN’S FINAL FOUR 2019 AND MORE

Soon, the eyes of the world will be on Minneapolis. The new U.S. Bank Stadium will play host to some of the world’s biggest events in its first few years, including Super Bowl LII in 2018 and the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2019. Home to the Minnesota Vikings, the stadium was a key factor in securing these major league events for Minneapolis. Development has already started around the neighborhood, including a huge city park and green space, new corporate buildings for Wells Fargo and a Radisson Red hotel. In fact, sustained hotel occupancy has spurred development of more hotels with 11 currently in development or under construction, including many new flags to the area.

The Minneapolis Saint Paul metropolitan area is continuing to see record numbers of visitors, with more than 30.9 million in 2014 alone. We invite you to come up and take a look around at what’s changing in Minneapolis while you’re here for TBEX (it’s an easy METRO Blue Line ride from Mall of America) and then come back to see what it looks like in a couple years, too. And tell your readers and viewers and fans all about it.

We look forward to welcoming you to the #CitybyNature — #Minneapolis.

Photo credit:  Courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings and U.S. Bank Stadium