“People go from Minden to Shreveport, not the other way around.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that or a similar statement. When something is repeated enough times, it is perceived as truth. But it isn’t true.
Any given night, you can venture out to Crawfish Hole Number Two in Dixie Inn and find plenty of folks from Shreveport, Bossier and other places outside of Minden. Why? Because their crawfish is famous in regional circles.
Closer to home, I personally know multiple photographers who love to come to downtown Minden for photo shoots. The brick streets and intricate architecture provide great backgrounds and more.
I recently learned that students at Minden’s “Walmart Academy,” come from various towns in our region. They expressed how much they love Minden and “didn’t know what was here.” Many went on to say the would be back with the families for another visit.
Last year’s Grilling on Main attracted hundred of competitors from far and wide.
Since the closing of Walmart in Homer, our Minden store has become a weekly stop for many from Claiborne Parish.
Did you know that many people can get to Minden from Bossier City than to Youree Drive in Shreveport?
People do come here.
As we work to grow our community, let us not discount the value of tourism. In fact, tourism is more than overnight visitors. It can include those who frequent our community for various reasons. These people spend money in our businesses, add to our sales tax collections and help keep our economy moving.
These facts beg the follow-up question, “What more can we do to attract visitors?”
Some may think we need more things for people to do. While that is nice, it is not imperative. We simply need to tell our story to others. Here are some examples:
• Minden has three new car dealerships: Brown Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Harper Motors and Hebert’s Town and Country Ford. Those looking for a new vehicle could visit Minden for a good, hometown deal without the hassle of the “Auto Mall” in Shreveport.
• Dining establishments like Roma Italian Bistro, Grace Estates, Geaux Fresh, Habacu’s Mexican provide unique experiences that are worth the travel.
• America is having an antique and repurposing revival. Minden has many great antique establishments. Those who love antiquing could literally spend all day here.
• Minden has many locally owned boutiques and gift shops. There is no need to head to the mall or combat Youree Drive traffic to get a great deal.
These are just a few of the valuable assets of Minden. However, the list could go on and on if we would take a step back and look.
Now, we need to tell others.
Many of us have friends from outside Minden on social media. How easy would it be to snap a photo of a local business or event and post it for those friends to see? We are already taking photos of our meals, let’s tag the restaurant as well.
How many Minden businesses do you like on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Do you ever share their posts? You should.
Do you ever rate businesses on Google, Zomato or Yelp? You should.
People are looking for the unique, and they are willing to travel in that search. We just need to give them a reason to travel here.
It is up to all of us.
David Specht is President of Specht Newspapers, Inc. He may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.