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Visitors love Emmet County—we can, too

August 15, 2019
Estherville News

This week, five travel bloggers came to Estherville and part of Emmet County to see all we had to offer with the goal of sharing it with readers and social media followers far and wide. Estherville Area Chamber director Lexie Ruter worked with Midwest Travel Network to gather the best people to tell the story of the Estherville area in words and photos. That's something we do daily in this newsroom, but so often we don't have time to stop and take in just what there is to offer right where we live.

The fresh perspective of Sara Broers from Mason City, Nikki Rue from Omaha, Danelle Gay from Sun Prairie, Wis., Donna Hup from Northwood, and Chrysa Duran from Minneapolis helped us see the community in a different way, and we hope it can help others who live here see what's good, too.

Seeing the great parts in no way means we're covering up or ignoring the issues the community has. Yes, as in many rural areas our population may be measured as shrinking in the 2020 Census. Yes, the economic drivers that used to sustain a larger Estherville may not work in this century so we must continue to innovate. This is not unique to Estherville or Emmet County.

The fastest-growing places in Iowa are just outside Des Moines, the only actual large city in the state, and this is a trend mirrored in most other places. Some say the way to regain population is housing. Others say it's jobs. Still others say it's accoutrements young families count on like a community swimming pool and a variety of parks and useful public spaces.

The bloggers agreed that one thing that makes a community one they will give shouts out to as they continue to travel is the people.

One said it just like that the most rewarding part of traveling to different places and writing about them comes down to one thing: "It's the people."

This is one aspect of Emmet County we have not heard is in dispute.

Nearly everyone agrees our community has wonderful people. We come together when some traumatic event happens. We help each other. We look out for each other. Most people here can disagree on an issue but patch things up and remain friends and neighbors. We love to gather together, as evidenced by the community events that fill up the summer calendars in every part of the county. We honor our natural beauty through the great work of Friends of Ft. Defiance, the Emmet County Conservation Board and staff, the Estherville Garden Club, the betterment and improvement groups in the small towns and rural areas, and the unsung individuals who clean up, plant, tend, water, prune, paint, color, and generally beautify what we already have.

Celebrating what's good isn't covering up what's not so good. Whether or not you believe in the law of attraction, we have found when we are grateful for the good we have and talk in terms of what we want, we discover more of the good, and when we complain about what we don't have or get sucked into negative talk or thinking, we find more of what we don't want. With that in mind, what should our local rhetoric be?

We are grateful for the good these five visitors found in this community, and even more grateful that they will tell the world, or at least travelers throughout the Midwest, whom we hope will stop by to see for themselves.

Sara Broers of Midwest Travel Network said, "Tourism is the fastest way to bring new money into a community."

We can't see anything negative about that.



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