Checkpoint MN, New Ulm Hosting
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 The Mankato Gazette

Checkpoint MN, New Ulm Hosting

December 7, 2015
New Ulm, Minn. (Dec. 3, 2015) – For the third consecutive year, Explore Minnesota, the state’s tourism promotion office, in partnership with Minneapolis-based marketing agency Monopoint Media, will launch a statewide winter scavenger hunt this Thursday, Dec. 3. Coined “Checkpoint MN,” the event highlights 10 iconic travel destinations, including New Ulm, which can be found only in Minnesota this season. The scavenger hunt runs December 3 through January 31, 2016, aiming to entice thousands of Minnesota travelers over the course of 8 weeks with $35,000+ in prizes, including winter gear, Wigwam Socks, MN getaways, grand prize ski, snowboard, and fat bike packages from The-House.com, and more.



New Ulm was chosen as a location to host one of the checkpoints. The checkpoint sign has been installed at August Schell Brewing Company. Schell’s Brewery is the second oldest family-owned brewery in the US and is a major tourist destination in the state. “We are pretty excited about being included on this!” said Jodi Marti, owner of Schell’s Brewery. “We were thrilled to be asked.”



Checkpoint MN locations include a variety of sites that embody winter travel in Minnesota including: a 218,000 acre national park to celebrate the 2016 National Park Service Centennial Celebration, Minnesota’s newest outdoor sports stadium, the country’s second oldest brewery, and more. CheckpointMN.com features a map of the checkpoints, complete prize descriptions, rules and sponsorship details, participant photos, and travel information about each checkpoint, so you can make the most out of checking in at each destination. The 10 checkpoints can be found at:



· Voyageurs National Park, Rainy Lake Visitors Center, International Falls

· World’s Largest Free Standing Hockey Stick & Puck, Eveleth

· Lowell Park, Stillwater

· TCF Bank Stadium, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

· August Schell Brewing Company, New Ulm

· Zumbrota Covered Bridge, Zumbrota

· Mille Lacs Kathio State Park, Onamia

· Hopperstad Stave Church at the Hjemkomst Center, Moorhead

· Cuyuna State Recreation Area, Crosby-Ironton

· Arctic Cat, Inc., Thief River Falls



”Minnesota is a one-of-a-kind winter travel destination. Visitors can venture outdoors with numerous activities at our beautiful regional, state and national parks, catch a game, tour a museum or take a brewcation,” said John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota. “Each checkpoint destination offers a unique experience that can be found only in Minnesota this season. The checkpoints are a simple addition to a planned winter vacation, or good excuse to plan new trips around them.”



Share Sights on Social Media Using #OnlyinMN and #CheckpointMN

Participants are encouraged to follow Explore Minnesota and CheckpointMN on social media, and share their #OnlyinMN winter experiences on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for a chance to win prizes. This allows for you to be involved in real-time and not only share your traveling adventures but your prizes! Participants can also use #CheckpointMN.



“Research shows that people seek travel inspiration from their social networks, so sharing iconic Minnesota sights using #OnlyinMN and #CheckpointMN is a great way to showcase the state,” added Edman.



Minnesota Sets Standard for Statewide Winter Scavenger Hunts

Minnesota is the only state to promote a winter tourism-themed scavenger hunt that encompasses a variety of destinations and attractions statewide. In recent years, Checkpoint MN has yielded thousands of eager participants and nationwide media attention, adding Minnesota to the map as a leading winter travel getaway. This year, Checkpoint MN aims to secure spontaneous adventurers, cultural explorers and seasoned travel veterans to show off one-of-a-kind Minnesota winter travel experiences.



Checkpoint MN Rules and Prizes

Each participant automatically earns a prize by reaching their first checkpoint. Participants can earn more prizes the more places they check in. A complete list of rules and prize structure can be found at CheckpointMN.com.



"There are thousands of dollars' worth of prizes to coax people out of hibernation, and each Checkpoint MN participant gets something great." said Stephen Regenold, a partner at Monopoint Media and editor and founder of GearJunkie.com. "On their adventure, people get to see some of the most iconic places Minnesota has to offer.”
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