Letter to the Editor
To the Editor,
Regarding the tourism debate and “Nut Cracker Saga” in Luverne, it is nearly 100 percent, unified agreement that the town does not want Luverne’s focus to be on the nutcracker. It is not the heritage to represent Luverne.
The first rule of marketing is to know your target group and trends. I market auctions all over the world, and have seen the trends generated by the social media and increased Millennial and Xer generations. The Baby Boomers were known for collectibles. The upcoming generations have little to no interest in collectibles.
Auctioneers have seen antique furniture down 70 percent. Figurines like Precious Moments, Hummel, and others might as well use for trap shooting. We are seeing trends in the collector car hobby, too. The target for marketing needs be something that carry’s all generations, so that revenue is a constant flow. The upcoming generations want adventure, experiences and no clutter in their lives or spaces. Hence a nutcracker is a collectible and just clutter.
We have everything currently in Luverne to keep the money and tourism flowing. History, art, meeting friends, craft beer, beautiful parks, buffalo herds, and camping-hiking. Nature is something we all agree is beautiful and generates tourism. Luverne is one of the few areas east of the Missouri River that has a herd of buffalo.
If you have ever been to the Custer, South Dakota, Buffalo Round Up, it brings in people from all over the world. They spend the week and whole lot of money. Why in the world would you not focus on a money making staple we have had for years. I have been to towns that have fiberglass statues that local artists paint and have them around town. We can do this. We have lots of local talent. Painted Fiberglass buffalos would be beautiful and tie in with Buffalo Days. Cross all generations.
I have several friends that have museums; they tell me that it’s hard to get 40 and under to come in. They want experience, not seeing stuff.
There is no way on God’s green earth I would come to or park my Chevelle by a nutcracker on Main Street. They do not represent Luverne at all. They scare children. The collection should stay in the museum, but should not be the focus. This niche does not cross generations, and will stop money flow for incoming tourism.
It is a giant buzz kill. Money kill. I’ve been to Christmas towns, they all have been closed or sold out by fellow auctioneers. They don’t sell well.
Wake up and look at the marketing trends. Listen to your taxpayer and residents of your community. Don’t wreck your natural beauty with nick knacks that are outdated and should stay on a shelf.