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Wall Street Journal piece highlights the 'ultimate long weekend' in Minneapolis

“The Ultimate Long Weekend in Minneapolis” is the headline of a recent Wall Street Journal story that highlights the city’s attractions. 

The scenic city “may bring to mind parkas before parks, and Vikings before biking, but Minneapolis is as sweet in summer as it is frigid in winter,” with everything from outdoor activities to cultural offerings to take in, it reads. 

The story lays out a step-by-step itinerary for visitors who visit the city for a weekend. Local restaurants like Burch, Icehouse (also an entertainment venue) and Matt’s Bar get a shout-out. The American Swedish Institute, Forage Modern Workshop, and the Walker Art Center also get props, as do a number of theaters, shops, and parks.  

Midtown Greenway named the best bike path in the nation

ActiveTimes.com recently ranked the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis as the nation’s top bike path, CBS Minnesota reports. USA Today picked up the story.   

The over-five-mile-long trail sees up to 5,000 people daily. “It runs right through the center of Minneapolis with little interruption from street traffic or pedestrians,” the story reads. 

On the path, ActiveTimes says, riders get views of the Mississippi River, the Chain of Lakes, and the Martin Sabo suspension bridge. And the site takes note of the fact that many people take the bike path to work. 

To come up with its results, ActiveTimes evaluated “whether the path allows you to skip traffic while at the same time giving you a view of nature.”

Study highlights Minnesota's innovation and manufacturing

Minnesota's manufacturing scene is rife with innovation and productivity, according to a recent study.
The 2013 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card, prepared by an economics professor at Ball State University, ranked Minnesota high on a state-by-state analysis of manufacturing climates.
The state excels when it comes to obtaining manufacturing patents and spending on research and development. Also, Minnesota's high-quality labor force put the state ahead of others in the country, giving us a competitive advantage and making Minnesota attractive for relocation.
About 10 percent of Minnesota's economy depends on manufacturing, and the abundance of local talent garnered through access to university laboratories and nonprofit research activities plays a part in the state's manufacturing strength, the study noted.

Five Minnesota hospitals rank high on national list

U.S. News & World Report recently released it annual Best Hospitals list, and five Minnesota hospitals were ranked high in terms of performance.
Coming in at no. 3 in the ranking, Rochester-based Mayo Clinic was highlighted in numerous categories, nabbing the "best" designation for specialties like endocrinology, gastroenterology, gynecology, and diabetes care.
The other four hospitals that made the list are Allina Abbott Northwestern Hospital, the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Allina Mercy Hospital, and St. John's Hospital.
The magazine sorted data for nearly 5,000 U.S. hospitals, looking at factors like patient safety, hospital reputation, and death rates. Only 147 hospitals were nationally ranked.

Forbes calls Minneapolis one of the most inventive cities in the world

Minneapolis is a highly inventive city on an international level, according to a recent Forbes study. 

Forbes used a metric called “patent intensity” to come up with a list of the 15 most inventive cities across the globe. 

Minneapolis came in ninth place, as it produced 5.06 patent applications for every 10,000 residents, according to the magazine. 

Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, topped the list, while Raleigh, North Carolina, rounded it out. 

A couple of local companies among the most giving nationwide

The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s recent list of the most giving Fortune 500 companies includes Wells Fargo & Company and the Target Corporation, according to Minnpost.  

To get the results, the Chronicle examined last year’s charitable donations from many of the top Fortune 500 companies, the story states. 

Wells Fargo, which calls San Francisco home, but has strong ties to Minnesota, led with $316 million. “Meanwhile, Wells Fargo may be poised to add new Minnesota jobs, or at least, move existing employees to a new location,” the story reads.   

Target came in ninth place, having given away $147 million in cash and $77 million in products.

Anytime Fitness named world's fastest growing fitness club

For the sixth year, Hastings-based Anytime Fitness has nabbed the title of "world's fastest-growing fitness club" from The International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), an industry trade group.
The designation is based on the number of locations that Anytime Fitness added within the past year, as well as other factors like revenue and membership numbers.
The fitness behemoth opened 260 new locations in 2012, bringing its total to 2,035 clubs. It came in second in the IHRSA report for revenue growth, posting $484 million in 2012, a 33 percent increase over the previous year. The club was third on the list for number of members, reporting 1.5 million in 2012, coming in behind massive 24 Hour Fitness with 3.8 million members and Curves International, with 2 million members.
IHRSA President and CEO Joe Moore noted in a statement that the growth of Anytime Fitness indicates strong demand from consumers for "companies that meet their expectations."

Minneapolis named one of the best cities for recent college grads

Minneapolis landed at the no. 10 spot on Apartments.com's annual list of "Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates."
Now in its sixth year, the list examines 100 U.S. cities and determines rankings based on apartment availability, affordability, unemployment rates, median income, and the percentage of single people between the ages of 25 and 29.
According to the report, Minneapolis has a high number of people falling within that age range, as well as a low unemployment rate.
The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is just over $1,000, the report noted, which lands within the affordability range for recent college grads.
At the top of the list is Phoenix, with $708 as average rent for a one-bedroom apartment, and coming in at second and third place were Orlando and San Antonio.

Minneapolis/St. Paul lowest unemployment rate among big U.S. cities

Minneapolis/St. Paul recently nabbed a headline on Slate.com. Recent information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor shows that the Twin Cities is the “lowest-unemployment big city in America,” the website states.
“It has long been the position of this blog that you should move to Minneapolis based on the high wages and low cost of living, but until recently Oklahoma City had a lower joblessness rate,” the Slate.com post reads.
The writer encourages readers to get past Minnesota winters and to see that “Now Minneapolis is both a place with high wage jobs and a place with plentiful jobs.”

Travel Channel features Irish Fair of Minnesota as one of the best U.S. Celtic celebrations

The Irish Fair of Minnesota is ncluded in a list from the Travel Channel of the top seven Celtic festivals in the country.  

The biggest free festival of its type in the country, the St. Paul fair “has the best of all Irish festivals--bands, beer and boiled beef--plus its own unique events: Irish Got Talent and Best Legs in a Kilt,” the website reads.

To showcase various aspects of Irish culture, games including hurling and Gaelic football take place, while vendors offer Jaffa cakes, Celtic crosses, and whiskey.

Minnesota in top 10 list for well-being

Nonprofit organization Social Science Research Council recently released a list of top states for "well-being," and Minnesota came in at number seven.
Called the American Human Development Index, the list measures three main aspects that contribute to overall well-being: access to education, standard of living, and life expectancy.
The study's authors base their data on responses from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The top three states in the study were Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, while the bottom three were Mississippi, Arkansas, and West Virginia. 

Minnesota has a top-growing economy

When it comes to state economies, Minnesota is the fifth fastest growing, according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Twin Cities Business magazine reports.

The rankings are based on states' gross domestic product (GDP) from 2012.  

Minnesota, which shares the ranking with California, has a GDP growth rate of 3.5 percent. The national average was 2.5 percent.

The state saw growth in the areas of manufacturing, construction, wholesale trade, finance, real estate development, and agriculture, the story states.

“Although North Dakota was described as the fastest-growing economy in 2012, its $39 billion “real GDP”--which is adjusted for inflation and incorporates a weighted average of prices for products produced within each state--was significantly smaller than Minnesota’s real GDP of $253 billion,” the story notes.

Two local food trucks on list of best in the country

Popular local food trucks Chef Shack and Vellee Deli appeared on a recent list of the country's top food trucks, in a ranking dished up by food website The Daily Meal.
Chef Shack, a fixture on the food truck scene here and one of the first to kick off the trend, nabbed the no. 10 spot on the list while fusion cuisine purveyor Vellee Deli came in at no. 84.
The website looked at over 450 trucks from over 40 cities, and came up with the list by considering Twitter and Facebook popularity, as well as innovative menus, originality, and online reviews.
In singling out Chef Shack, the site noted that ingredients are organic when possible, and from family farms and co-ops in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Vellee Deli, meanwhile, won a spot for its blend of Asian and Mexican dishes.

Minneapolis ranks high for small business employees

Minneapolis ranked third in a recent study that looked at which cities in the country are most appealing for those who work for small businesses.
Coming in behind Denver and Boston, Minneapolis has the least amount of job competition among the 30 cities considered by the study's developer, a credit card research site called Card Hub.
Cities were ranked based on job growth, average monthly earnings for new hires, cost of living in the area, average unemployment rate, and other factors.
Companies with fewer than 50 employees comprise about half of the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce's membership, the study noted, and "its workforce spends relatively little time on the job...the city ranks in the top 10 nationally in terms of small business vitality, industry variety, and stress."

Twin Cities developers to help inform Detroit transit project

Detroit is adding a streetcar line and it’s looking to Twin Cities developers for insights about minimizing the impact of construction on local businesses, the Pioneer Press reports.

For example, St. Paul’s Neighborhood Development Center, which provides support to minority-owned businesses in the city, is pitching in. Isabel Chanslor, a project manager with the organization, is quoted in the story, saying, "We've shared what we learned, what we did and what we could have done better.”

The organization “has been exporting its model to Detroit on a number of levels,” the story states.

Plans in Detroit include a “marketing campaign intended to remind locals that businesses along Woodward Avenue are indeed still open, much like the 'On The Green Line' campaign launched in the Twin Cities,” the story reads.

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