Editor’s note: This submission is in response to Aaron Brown’s column “Hibbing Tourist Senior Center deserves a break” published May 27
The Hibbing Tourist Senior Citizens organization would like to thank Aaron Brown for shining a light on our financial challenges. As we head into our busiest season the area’s most popular attraction, Hull Rust Mine View, is closed during a relocation project, and that affects our ability to operate.
The donations and purchases made by more than 20,000 visitors to Hull Rust Mine View between mid-May and September help sustain the Howard Street Tourist Center for the entire year.
That means defensive driving courses, computer/technology classes, exercise groups and social activities can be offered.
It means Hibbing has a gift store that is open daily during the summer and weekdays all year around, providing visitors with a place to find Hibbing- and Iron Range-branded souvenirs as well as information about the entire region.
It means a space, that is open to the entire community, can continue to serve as a welcome center for all.
Thankfully, Cleveland Cliffs is generously helping relocate the view point, and Hibbing Taconite has made significant contributions to the relocation, including installation of fencing and road construction to the new location, as well as recently donating a 240-ton production truck to the new site. Our relationship with Cleveland Cliffs remains very positive and we appreciate all of their support and contributions.
With the City of Hibbing’s continued and much-appreciated help, the new location will provide even more striking views, firmly ingraining in each visitor’s mind the awesome endeavor that turns rock into steel, and arguably catapulted the United States from dependence on foreign steel during industrialization to the world power it become in the early part of the 20th century and has remained ever since.
In the meantime, the Tourist Center is facing a $7,500 shortfall for the months of March to July, and a $22,900 shortfall for the year starting March 1.
It is for this reason that we’ve set up a Facebook page to receive donations, and why we’re inviting folks to donate at our Howard Street gift store — even better, stop in and buy some of the wonderful gift and souvenir items we’re stocking, including original artworks, ethnic food items, clothing, jewelry and much more.
Whatever way individuals or businesses chose to support us, we are grateful.
We look forward to continuing our 33-year tradition of staffing the Mine View with friendly and knowledgeable volunteers at a new and improved site the entire state can be proud of.
Tourist Center Senior