NFOIC Summit 2009 participants notice May 22

On behalf of the Board of the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information, welcome to Minnesota and Minneapolis! We thought the best way to welcome visitors is to fill you in on some of the arrival logistics. Once you get to the hotel you can walk to everything, so we want you to have a soft landing at the Marriott. Some tips:

* Absolutely for sure take the Light Rail Transit (LRT) from the airport. The stop is in the terminal, just keep following the signs down, down, down. Depending on the terminal, you may take a quick rail shuttle. It is so easy and so cheap: $2.25 during rush hours, $1.75 at all other times. The taxis are pricey and there’s road construction everywhere so please, take my advice and take the train.

* Get off at Nicollet Mall and 5th St. – this is the second to the last stop. There will be obvious stop postings and announcements. Take a left (southward) down Nicollet Mall. You will get off on 5th St. and walk to 7th St. When you get to 7th, turn right. The Marriott is on your right between Nicollet Mall and Hennepin. It’s a subtle entrance.

* Here’s where it gets strange. The lobby of the Marriott is on the 6th floor. The lower floors are commercial with the hotel perched above. Just take the well-marked elevator to the lobby and you’re home free. The rooms are actually in a separate tower. It feels weird at first blush, but it’s actually very smart use of urban space.

* If you’re meeting someone, meet in that lobby. It’s one big open space with a restaurant, a couple of bars and lots of conversation pits. Great networking space.

* We will have stacks of local tourist materials – maps, coupon books, visitor guides, etc on display somewhere obvious. A “local” will be on hand to answer questions or point you in the right direction. I hope you’ve found the local guide prepared by MnCOGI Board member Robbie LaFleur on the NFOIC website. Thanks to the American Planning Association’s conference here in April, here is a 4-page pdf of Eat Local in the Twin Cities: A Rough Guide.

* You’re on the Skyway System when you’re at the Marriott. Lots of Skyway construction but it will get you anywhere downtown – department stores, Target, restaurants, even a couple of churches. You can live for months without going beyond the Skyway!

* Still, do go outside and walk or ride to the Mississippi at some point. The beautiful Mississippi and historic Minneapolis are just a few blocks away. If you’re short of time, you can hop virtually any bus on the Mall (ask if they “cross the river”) For $.75 you can ride across one of the bridges, take a stroll along the river. With your transfer that you remembered to get while boarding, you can ride the bus back to the Marriott. The walk along the Mississippi is not to be missed.

If you have ANY questions, please drop me a note. We’re delighted you’re coming. We’re also proud of Minneapolis and Minnesota. BTW it’s been fairly cool, but the weather may be hot two weeks from now. Still, bring a light sweater or jacket. The evenings can still be cool – beautiful, but sometimes cool.

Best, Mary Treacy, Executive Director
Minnesota Coalition on Government Information