Dear Minot cropped

Dear Minot

Dear Minot

A message from your government about the most topical and relevant information currently circulating throughout the community. 

Jan 26

Visit Minot continues to tell Minot's story

Posted on January 26, 2023 at 3:52 PM by Bryan Obenchain

Dear Minot:

We’re all familiar with Minot hosting two of the largest events in North Dakota in the North Dakota State Fair and the Norsk Hostfest. But there are countless community partners who work to help Minot expand its reach beyond our city limits and beyond the borders of our state to attract visitors to a host of events throughout the year.

At the top of that community partner list is Visit Minot, where Executive Director Stephanie Schoenrock and her staff have proven time and time again that they are capable of successfully attracting a plethora of events, including a wide variety of sporting events. Every event, large or small, brings visitors to Minot, and creates opportunities for our residents to interact with visitors and our business owners to interact with potential customers.

When we host successful events, the effect is felt throughout our community. The impact is felt by hotels, restaurants, boutiques, attractions like Roosevelt Park Zoo, golf courses, and other entertainment venues. Attracting more people to our community for these events benefits all of us by creating sales tax dollars, not to mention direct benefits to our business community. And if you’ve noticed, we’re hosting more and more of these events in recent years.

In just the next couple of months, there are several major events taking place in Minot. Here are just a few of them and their potential impact on the community:

  • Magic City International Figure Skating competition on Feb. 3-5. More than 250 athletes and their families expected to attend.
  • State Fire School on Feb. 23-26. More than 750 firefighters from around the state will be in Minot.
  • High school girls Class B State Basketball Tournament on March 2-4. Eight teams plus thousands of fans expected to attend the tournament at the Minot State University Dome.
  • Girls State High School Hockey Tournament on March 2-4. Eight teams and thousands of spectators will be in Minot for the tournament at Maysa Arena.
  • Rebel Round Up gymnastics meet on March 14-15. More than 200 athletes plus families, coaches, and others expected to attend.
  • USA State Gymnastics meet on March 17-19. More than 500 athletes, plus spectators, coaches, and others expected to attend.
  • Athletic Empire Spring Spikedown volleyball tournament on April 14-16. More than 600 athletes and their families and spectators expected to attend.

All of these events illustrate and reinforce the same point: Minot is more than capable of hosting essentially any type of event, large, small, or in-between. We have top-notch facilities, and we have a large supply of hotel rooms to accommodate visitors, whether it’s for a day or for a week.

And now, thanks to the continued hard work of the Visit Minot staff, we have the opportunities to showcase our community to the rest of the state and, in many cases, the upper Midwest and Canada. We’re fortunate to have Stephanie and her crew telling Minot’s story and working to attract events to our community. I have no doubt that there will be even more events coming to Minot this year and beyond.

If you’re looking for what’s happening in Minot, check out Visit Minot’s web site at for updated lists of events, where to stay, things to do, where to shop and eat, and a host of other information. Besides the long list of major events, there are nearly endless things to do in Minot. All you have to do is look.

You can find more about what’s happening at the City of Minot at, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d also encourage you to sign up for our monthly electronic newsletter on our website.

Jan 13

Join us at the State of the City on Feb. 9

Posted on January 13, 2023 at 10:20 AM by Bryan Obenchain

Dear Minot:

It’s early January at the City of Minot, which means we’re in the middle of making preparations for our annual State of the City event.

This year’s State of the City is scheduled for Feb. 9 at The Depot (15 Main Street North). The State of the City is open to the public, with my speech scheduled to start shortly after noon. You’ll need to purchase tickets if you want to join us for lunch, which will start shortly before noon. Details on tickets will be coming soon. The rest of the event is free to attend.

The State of the City was created with a simple goal: To provide our community with information about the most recent year at the City of Minot, and to look ahead to the upcoming year. This will be our sixth State of the City. It takes a team effort from our community partners and a lot of City employees to make the State of the City become reality. But looking back on the past year and focusing on the year ahead of us is important, as it allows us time to reflect on the ongoing challenges we face as a community and the successes we’ve enjoyed.

We’ll talk more in detail during my address on Feb. 9, but if we take a moment to reflect on 2022, we will see that by working together, it was a year full of great accomplishments in our community. Work is under way on our city’s second public high school. Our business community is growing, including several new businesses in downtown Minot and significant private investments at Dakota Square Mall and other parts of Minot. Our intermodal port is busy and continues to broaden economic opportunities. The Magic City Discovery Center will open soon, Trinity Health’s new medical campus will open this year.

At the City, we’ll move into our new City Hall in downtown Minot this year. Flood control is moving ahead, as is the Northwest Area Water Supply project. Plans are under way for a City curbside recycling program to begin this summer, Fire Station 5 in northwest Minot will come on line this summer, and our façade program is helping downtown businesses restore the historical glory of their buildings.

Of course, we will always face new challenges, like designing, funding, and building the remaining phases of flood control. Or beginning work soon on the City budget for 2024. Or continuing to work on long-term planning for the inevitable growth of our community, and how the City must prepare for that with new and expanded infrastructure. But I prefer to think of those challenges as opportunities to address our needs and to best position our community to meet the demands of the next decade.

As always, we will meet our challenges head on, because we know the decisions we make today will make Minot a better community in the future. Our previous generations of leaders taught us that, and now it’s up to your elected representatives to ensure the continuity of our growing city is passed on to the next generations of civic leaders and government officials.

We’re expecting a great event on Feb. 9, and I encourage you to join us. If you can’t make it to the event in person, you can watch it on the City of Minot’s social media platforms, including Facebook and YouTube. It’s important that we gather as a community to share not only our challenges, but our success stories and our vision for the upcoming year. Please join us on Feb. 9.

You can find more about what’s happening at the City of Minot at, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d also encourage you to sign up for our monthly electronic newsletter on our website

Dec 29

How will you use your next 7,000 words?

Posted on December 29, 2022 at 8:49 AM by Bryan Obenchain

Dear Minot:

Research shows that the average adult speaks at least 7,000 words in a day. Obviously, depending on your personality and your job, you might speak far more than that, or considerably less. But for the sake of this column, I’ll use 7,000 as average for a day.

Words matter – all of them. If I’m using at least 7,000 words in my average day, I want to make sure they’re all important and used for maximum effect. At the end of every year, countless organizations declare their Word of the Year. For instance, Merriam-Webster listed “gaslighting” as its word of the year for 2022. Past winners include vaccine, pandemic, justice, and surreal.

I’m not going to declare a word of the year, but I am going to pick a few words I hope to use more in the year ahead.

“We.” I firmly believe in the power of we. As your mayor and a member of the City Council, I always hope for an engaged community. Municipal government works best when residents are actively involved. When there are more eyes looking at a situation, there are more opportunities for us to succeed. I believe when we get together to work toward a common goal, Minot’s opportunity for growth is greatly expanded and enhanced. “We” can accomplish much more than “I” can.

“Positive.” I believe there is opportunity in everything we do. Author John Gordon states “behind every cloud, the sun is shining.” This is an exciting time for Minot. There are great things happening in all corners of our community. Don’t believe me?

In northwest Minot, a new fire station and a new public high school are under construction.

In southwest Minot, a new state-of-the-art medical complex is nearing completion.

In northeast Minot, a magnificent new children’s museum dominates the north hill skyline.

In southeast Minot, construction is under way on Broadway Circle, a project that includes a family homeless shelter, food pantry, and low income housing.

I’m not ignoring the fact that our community has some dark clouds and difficult decisions ahead of it. But by facing these decisions with our eyes wide open, and with an “opportunity” type of attitude, we can and will accomplish great things. We’ve done it before; the proof is all around us.

We’re always going to deal with negative attitudes that we cannot change. But we can change how we respond. We can choose to allow the negativity to distract us from our mission, or we can decide that there is positivity in every situation, if we look for it.

I’m choosing to embrace positivity. I am committed to finding the very best in our community and shining a spotlight on what they are doing to make Minot a better place to live. 

“Thankful.” I choose to be thankful for what I have in my personal life. We should all be thankful for our family and friends; don’t take any of them for granted, because you never know when there will be an empty chair at your next holiday gathering. 

I also choose to be thankful for those who keep our city safe, clean, secure, and moving forward. As an organization, the City of Minot is full of people who ensure our community has clean water, clean streets, has a solid vision for the future, and is protected from crime and the threat of fire. The City of Minot isn’t a nameless, faceless organization. It’s made up of your family members, your friends, and your neighbors. I am thankful for every one of them as we embark on a new year.

We. Positive. Thankful.

Those will be the words I will use to guide me through the decisions I face in the upcoming year. It’s going to be a challenging year, as they all are, but I’m approaching 2023 with excitement, hope, and confidence.

Excitement for the positive changes that are happening in Minot.

Hope for the future growth and prosperity of our community.

Confidence in our residents, who continue to amaze me every day with their goodness and overwhelming sense of community spirit.

I think that’s enough words from me for now. How will you use your next 7,000 words?

You can find more about what’s happening at the City of Minot at, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d also encourage you to sign up for our monthly electronic newsletter on our website.