St. Louis River Corridor

Slrcorridorvisioning Map Lo Res

Vision for the St. Louis River Corridor
An Outdoor Recreation Destination and Environmental Education Hub

Vision for the St. Louis River Corridor
An Outdoor Recreation Destination and Environmental Education Hub

“There’s no question that if not for Lake Superior, Duluth would be defined as a river city. Duluth should be defined by both the world’s greatest lake AND the world’s largest fresh water estuary. By doing so, we open up many possibilities along the River.” – Mayor Don Ness

With a boundary waters- esque feel, the Saint Louis River Corridor is Duluth’s next big attraction for visitors and residents alike. In 2009, Mayor Ness organized the Saint Louis River Corridor Summit and brought over 70 stakeholders together to develop a comprehensive vision for the area. The ideas generated then and now are being fully developed and refined into a long-term plan that will invest in West Duluth.

Spirit Mountain, the Lake Superior Zoo, and Indian Point Campground will serve as central points of this outdoor recreational hub. The City’s goal is to make a seamless, well-integrated family experience by using the amazing natural attributes of these three sites and the surrounding area. World-class trail systems and improved river access will provide days-worth of activities for people of all ages and abilities. 

Additionally, St. Louis River Corridor will see tremendous job growth across multiple sectors, with exciting opportunities to create light industrial and skilled manufacturing jobs.  This area offers remarkable strengths as a modern industrial park, including: Over 1,000 acres of potential industrial sites; extensive utility infrastructure and rail availability; shipping capacity and waterfront  sites; and a skilled and loyal workforce that continues Duluth’s proud industrial heritage.

With an aggressive cleanup effort planned over the next 10 years our efforts will help turn this scenic area into a desired outdoor adventure destination. These developments will help to bring many more visitors to our great city, which in turn will help to bring millions of dollars into Duluth’s economy.

Reestablishing the ½ and ½ Tourism Tax

For the last 15 years, tourism taxes have been collected across our city and spent for capital improvements in Canal Park.  Now it’s time for these dollars to be dedicated to growing the Saint Louis River Corridor surrounding areas.

Thanks to our local State delegation, the State granted the City of Duluth the authority to re-establish the ½ and ½   tax during the 2014 Legislative Session. What this ½ and ½ tax means is there will be an additional half percent on the lodging tax and half percent on food and beverage sales tax .

Currently, the City staff will begin an aggressive outreach campaign to gather input from the community and present the City Council with a more detailed plan mid-summer. The City Council will ultimately make the final decision on whether or not to implement the ½ and ½ tourism tax. 

If approved, the proceeds from these taxes will help the St. Louis River Corridor to become Duluth’s next great destination area to become known and loved around the country.  In the upcoming months, the City will be working with community members, business owners and existing amenities to start refining and implementing this vision.
Investments may include:
• $1-2M for unfunded flood recovery and updates at the Lake Superior Zoo
• $1-2M for the Spirit Mountain Recreation Area
• $2.2M for Wade Stadium, State bonding match
• $3-5M for Improved River Access and Trails Improvements including:
    • Extension of the Western Waterfront Trail
    • Indian Point Park, expansion and improvements
    • Spirit Bay Park, expansion and improvements
    • Blackmer Park, expansion and improvements
• $2M for additional trail improvements and enhanced river access
• $1-3M for upgrades to neighborhood parks and community centers

Additional ideas/suggestions? Please share your thoughts. Thank you!

St. Louis River Corridor

Please provide us feedback on what's important to you in the development of the River Corridor. Thank you.


Daniel Fanning
Communications & Policy Director - Mayor's Office
(218) 730-5307


Screen Shot 2014 06 12 At 93421 AM

City of Duluth, 411 West First Street, Duluth, Minnesota 55802
©2015 City of Duluth, Minnesota. All Rights Reserved | Disclaimers | Contact the City | Sitemap
Follow the City of Duluth City Facebook Page City's Twitter Feed City Youtube Channel