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Tour groups eye Minden for tours

by Minden Press-Herald

Minden may be added to a list of places to tour in north Louisiana.

Lynn Dorsey, director of the Webster Parish Convention and Visitor Bureau, met with a group of tour companies last week to show off Minden and Webster Parish as part of the Holiday Trail of Lights.

“The group tour operators loved Germantown and their very special tour guide, Larry Milford,” Dorsey said. “Larry, the exhibit designer, shared his passion for the unique artifacts now on display in the new visitor center.”

As part of the tour, company owners were given a special look at the new Germantown Colony Museum and the colony along their route in the Minden area.

“They expressed their delight to find this unique historic treasure in Webster Parish,” Dorsey said. “Combined with Minden’s charm, wonderful shops downtown, the beautiful homes in the historic district, the movie trail and a song from Millie Rose, they said they would be adding Webster Parish to their motor coach tours in the future.”

The group toured some downtown shops, including Second Hand Rose Antiques, a quaint antique shop in downtown Minden, as well as other destinations in Minden.

Yvonne Magne, co-owner of Trips Unlimited in New Orleans, said she loved Minden and she and business partner Eileen Borsch are considering adding Minden to their tour route.

“I love Minden,” Magne said. “I love the stores. The homes are just outstanding. We’d love to bring a group back here. It’s lovely.”

Trips Unlimited books motor coach trips all over the United States and Canada. Magne said she loved the small town feel of Minden.

“The towns are smaller and it’s friendly compared to bigger cities,” Magne said.
The company mainly caters to senior citizens, and Magne says they are discussing offering a “mystery” tour and coming through Minden.

Johnny Wessler, of Explore Louisiana North, says he loves Minden. He markets for 29 parishes, including Webster.

“I love it,” Wessler said. “I’ve been here many times. I love Minden’s hospitality and generosity. The history of Minden is incredible. Minden is like going back in time.”

He said this year, eight cities coordinated their efforts around Christmas to promote each municipality on what has become the Holiday Trail of Lights.

Shreveport, Bossier City, Minden, Monroe, West Monroe, Natchitoches, Alexandria and Pineville are on that list and market together regionally, Wessler said.

“It has taken the hard work of so many, money appropriated by the state and numerous donations, large and small to make our parish a significant player in the tourist destination market,” Dorsey said. “We can proudly say, ‘Mission Accomplished.’”

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