Cook County Blog

Talking Tourism with Linda Jurek: Art, Unplugged, Fall Colors, and Upcoming Marketing

Posted by Leif Birnbaum on 9/15/16 7:39 PM

Talking Tourism with Linda Jurek: Art, Unplugged, Fall Colors, and Upcoming Marketing 

Plein Air Grand Marais

Plein Air Grand Marais

Friday, September 9th marked the start date for this year’s plein air painting competition.  See the numerous painters throughout Cook County always sparks my creative soul. I’ve always thought I could be an artist.  In fact, I did some charcoal and pencil drawings back in college and remember really enjoying the time spent.  My most recent attempt at painting occurred at Voyageur Brewing.

Linda Jurek Paints a Picture 2016

Painting and beer?  How could I go wrong?  Well as you see below, I did not follow the “draw five straight lines” instruction.  I encourage all of you to welcome our painters and gather at Johnson’s Heritage Post on Friday, September 16 for the opening reception.  Perhaps make that once in a lifetime purchase.  Thanks to the Grand Marais Art Colony for bringing this unique event to Cook County. You will find a list of participating artists as well as the schedule of events here:

North House Folk School Unplugged concert audience

Celebrating 15 Years of Unplugged

The big white tent at North House Folk School can only mean one thing.  Unplugged XV is here!  We’ve been enjoying the music since 2002 and although this year presents a change in the programming, the pure enjoyment of music at North House will not be missed.  Nine alumni performers are returning for two nights of in the round performances.  Check out this year’s schedule here:

There are still tickets available.  If you can attend and want to support our treasured school, visit the Points North Auction.  Click here to bid high and often:

Best Towns 2016 - Outside Magazine

Best Towns + Lodging Tax increase, coincidence? We think not.

Budget Blowout! Along with incredible weather of 2015-2016, we celebrated the “coolest small town” award.  As we crunched numbers and looked forward to 2016-17, we averaged the past five years and conservatively forecasted a small increase in lodging tax collections.  Well so much for that!  All areas are celebrating significant increases.  If you haven’t visited the new Cook County MN website, do so now and check out the lodging tax reports.

Seasonal Shifts and Marketing Opportunities

The seasonal shift is occurring and with that, your marketing team at Visit Cook County is also very much aware of the changing business hours for dining, retail and lodging.  We continue to work hard to maintain consistent traffic throughout the year while recognizing that some folks simply need a break or do not open in the winter.  Let us know your plans and we will make sure to accurately reflect and All we ask is that you let us know so we can share that information with our visitors.

Time is running out to be a part of the brand new Cook County MN Visitor Guide.  We are putting the final touches on text, business listings and stunning photography.  We will distributing this guide at tradeshows through the fall, winter and spring.  The new City of Grand Marais map is also enticing.  Call or email Maggie Barnard at 218-387-2788 or

Topics: Events, Fall