MSP gave economy a lift

Ever wonder what a major airport is worth?

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport contributed $10.1 billion to Minnesota’s economy last year2012, according to a new study commissioned by the Metropolitan Airports Commission.

The study focused on direct impacts of the aviation business, plus those related to businesses that supply goods and services, wages of workers whose jobs are airport dependent and visitor revenues.

The study found about 76,340 jobs are supported by the the airport, whether directly or supporting the visitor industry. About 97 percent of those jobs are permanent positions.

About 4.2 million visitors to the Twin Cities arrived via the airport last year, spending about $1.9 billion. The study found that the average visitor from the United States stays two nights in the Twin Cities and spentd $425 in the metro area, while international visitors stay five nights and spent $720 on the ground here per trip.

Read the report at

A sad ending for this duck tale

There once was a magical place in Little Rock, Ark., where guests of the grand Peabody Hotel got a taste of that most elusive of souvenirs — a unique experience in sea of generic modern lodging options.

Sadly, that era ended Tuesday when the Peabody had its final March of the Ducks before the hotel becomes a Marriott.

Yes, this hotel for 11 years had duck marches twice a day, rolling out a red carpet before ceremonially escorting its resident mallards to and from their large fountain, which is front and center inside the Peabody lobby.

The duck marches were a local tradition for children and families. The ducks in the lobby lightened up the night for countless travelers. They’ll be retired to a preserve.

Peabody locations in Memphis and Orlando will continue to march on.

Au revoir, Arkansas canard.

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Lisa Schwarz

About Lisa Schwarz

By day, I'm a St. Cloud Times editor guiding coverage of politics, government, public safety and business beats. By night, I'm leading the cubicle jailbreak as the Times Traveler. Follow me on Twitter at and on Facebook at
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