2018 Upper Mississippi Main Street Conference

October 23-25, 2018 . Winona, MN

The 2018 Upper Mississippi Main Street Conference will take place Tuesday, October 23, through Thursday, October 25 in downtown Winona, MN. Organized by the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota’s Main Street program, Wisconsin Main Street, Main Street Iowa, and Winona Main Street, the conference will bring together leaders in downtown and historic commercial district revitalization from across the upper Midwest to highlight asset-based strategies to community and economic development.

The theme of this year’s conference is downtown activation seven days a week, twelve months a year, and features two days of educational content as well as local tours, round table discussions and networking opportunities.

Conference highlights include:

  • Keynote presentation by Paul Jordan, CEO of The Forks North Portage Partnership, on how The Forks’ in Winnipeg was transformed from a burden to an asset through placemaking and reframing winter.
  • A second keynote presentation by Jim Peters, Founder and President of the Responsible Hospitality Institute, on trends and effective strategies on managing nighttime economies.
  • Breakout sessions will occur throughout the two-day conference and cover topics ranging from sponsorship sales and business succession to arts-based community development and placemaking.
  • Fun evening networking opportunities with colleagues from the Upper Midwest on a Mississippi River Boat Cruise, Island City Brewing Company, and the Minnesota Marine Art Museum.
  • Mobile sessions that include tours of a newly renovated riverside public space, a long-term building rehab after fire, and a repurposed building as a new mixed-use space for the community.

Keynote Speakers

Conference Registration


Conference Sessions

Conference Location and Parking Map





The Forks headshots 0286_Paul Jordan is the CEO of The Forks North Portage Partnership, a historical beloved public space in the heart of Winnipeg where the Red and Assiniboine rivers meet.

Recognizing Winnipeg’s unexpectedly interesting qualities as a river city, a winter city, and in the very centre of North America, Jordan has been instrumental in the creation of waterfront access and activity, connecting neighbourhoods through placemaking and various modes of active transportation, cultivating and inviting collaboration with Winnipeg’s creative community, and reframing the way we see winter – from a burden, to an asset; something that sets us apart.

Jordan’s focus on tapping into the local creative community and embracing change has led to some of The Forks’ most noteworthy activations, including the annual international Warming Huts Art + Architecture competition and RAW: almond a world-class dining experience on a frozen river.







Jim Peters is Founder and President of the Responsible Hospitality Institute and oversees development of programs, events and publications. He is a global thought leader who offers comprehensive insights on trends and effective strategies on managing nighttime economies.






Registration has ended. 

Regular General Attendee Rate: $125

Regular Designated Main Street Community* Rate: $100

Networking Events

Mississippi River Boat Cruise: $15/person

Party at the Museum: $15/person (includes one drink ticket, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and access to the museum)

Registration includes all sessions, refreshments at the breaks and breakfasts.

*The Designated Main Street Community Rate also applies to Network Communities (MN) and Connect Communities (WI).

If you need to pay via check, please contact Alyssa Stormes at 651-293-9047 or AStormes@mnpreservation.org.

Schedule at-a-Glance

This is a tentative schedule. Times and locations are subject to change.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

5:30 – 7:00pm Mississippi River Boat Cruises Winona Levee
5:30pm – 8pm Pre-conference Mixer and Registration Island City Brewing Company


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

8:00 – 9:00am Registration and Breakfast Winona County History Center
9:00 – 10:30am Welcome and Keynote Speaker: Paul Jordan Winona County History Center
10:30 – 11:00am Networking Break Winona County History Center
11:00-12:00pm Breakout Sessions Winona County History Center
12:00 – 1:30pm Lunch

(Main Street Directors meet in state groups)

Lunch is on your own in Downtown Winona
1:30 – 2:30pm Breakout Sessions and Tour Winona County History Center
2:45 – 3:45pm Breakout Sessions and Tour Winona County History Center
5:00 – 7:00pm Party at the Museum Minnesota Marine Art Museum


Thursday, October 25, 2018

8:30 – 9:30am Breakfast and Round Table Discussions Winona County  History Center
9:45 – 10:45am Breakout Sessions and Tour                  Winona County History Center
11:00am – 12:00pm Keynote Speaker: Jim Peters Winona County History Center



Attendees must call hotels directly and inform them you are attending the Upper Mississippi Main Street Conference.

303 Pelzer Street, Winona, MN 55987
$99 Rate

Days Inn
420 Cottonwood Drive, Winona, MN 55987
$75 Double Queen or Single King Rate; $65 for Business Queen

Holiday Inn Express
1128 Homer Road, Winona, MN 55987
Variable Rate

The Plaza
1025 Hwy 61 East, Winona, MN 55987
Variable Rate; Use Code: UpperMississippiMainStreet

The Riverport
900 Bruski Drive, Winona MN 55987
$89.99 Rate; Use Code: UpperMississippiMainStreetConference

Winona information for visitors: www.visitwinona.com

PARKING: Registrants will receive details about parking, and detailed check-in instructions approximately 1 week before the Conference, via email.

For Iowa – Terry Poe Buschkamp at terry.buschkamp@iowaeda.com or 515.348.6177
For Minnesota – Sarina Otaibi at sotaibi@mnpreservation.org or 320-262-9514
For Wisconsin – Errin Welty at errin.welty@wedc.org or 608-210-6832