DULUTH, MN-- Since the beginning of the pandemic, the DECC has not hosted many events. That is changing this week. "The DECC will
DULUTH, MN– Since the beginning of the pandemic, the DECC has not hosted many events. That is changing this week.
“The DECC will be in full use for the first time in almost a year. So that’s incredibly exciting for us,” said Roger Reinert, the Interim Executive Director at the DECC.
Starting Saturday, the DECC will be hosting both UMD Men’s and Women’s hockey games, two youth hockey tournaments, and dance competitions. It will also continue to serve as a COVID-19 testing and vaccination site.
“March will be in terms of our own generated revenue, the busiest month that we have had during the pandemic. We expect almost four times as much generated revenue as we have had in any other month. So that is good news,” Reinert said.
It is good news for local businesses as well. Kristi Stokes, President of the Greater Downtown Council, said what’s good for the DECC is good for local business.
“It has a trickle effect where we see more people in the hotel rooms, more people in the restaurants. Also, more people out and about so it’s more activity,” Stokes said.
Each event at the DECC is limited to no more than 250 people, but it’s still a taste of normal.
“When we are busy, that’s good for the community. When we are busy at the level that the DECC is meant to be at, that is going to be cause for celebration,” said Reinert.
The DECC estimates it lost more than $6 million during the pandemic. Reinert is hopeful an uptick in business heading into the summer will help regain some of the losses.