Fort Wayne, Ind. (WANE) – Add another star to the Summit City’s growing collection of accolades.
The Chicago Tribune’s “Best of the Midwest: 10 Places to Go in 2020” includes Fort Wayne.
Leading with “Family-friendly Fort Wayne has been pumping lots of money into revitalizing its riverfront,” the story then touts The Landing, trail system, Middle Waves at Electric Works, the Vera Bradley Outlet sale and more.
“Fort Wayne first got on my radar in 2018, when I edited a story from a freelancer about fall hikes in the Midwest,” Travel Editor Lori Rackl emails WANE 15.
Rackl says she made a mental note to one day visit the city’s extensive trail system.
She then saw promotional material sent by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership about the city’s development and thought it might be a good fit in the paper’s annual list.
“Finally, I made a visit there myself in November to check out Fort Wayne in person,” she emails.
“I had a Coney dog (the nice guy behind the counter didn’t even charge me for it — and he didn’t know I was a reporter), and I had a great cup of coffee at Conjure Coffee, plus some delicious chocolate at DeBrand (even took the tour). None of that quite fit with my story though.
“Really liked Promenade Park (but it was cold) and the Landing looked promising. Checked out GnomeTown Brewing too — fun place. Went to the indoor Farmers Market at Parkview Field, which is an impressive facility indeed. Again, none of that made it into the story, but all of it helped inform my choice to pick FW as one of the top Midwest destinations.
“What really sealed the deal for FW (and the other spots) is the amount of ‘new’ stuff happening in the near future. The boutique hotel, GE redevelopment, riverfront stuff, etc.”
Kate Virag, Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Communications for the Partnership, isn’t surprised.
“We think that this is the tipping point,” Virag says.
“There’s so much positive momentum here in the region and in Fort Wayne. There’s so much opportunity to make more of these lists and continue to tell these great stories. The more investment that we have will just make it easier and easier to get included and get national media attention.”
Virag says the story was published online today and will be in Sunday’s print edition.
Faith Van Gilder and Jill Brown of Asher Agency say the Chicago Tribune has 853,000 readers on Sundays.
Van Gilder adds that “the impact of Fort Wayne appearing in this list could actually be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars if only a fraction of those readers decide to visit!”
Virag hopes local residents share the story on social media.
“We want people from outside Fort Wayne to see what a great place Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana is and how much that we’ve invested in ourselves today.”