Crookston Visitors Bureau looks to replace two 'Welcome to Crookston' signs

It's possible that Crookston High School industrial technology students could be involved; CVB also prepares to launch new website and release new Crookston Visitors Guide

Mike Christopherson
The cover of the new Crookston Visitors Bureau Visitors Guide

The Crookston Visitors Bureau is forming a subcommittee of collaborators and stakeholders with the goal of replacing the “Welcome to Crookston” signs posted at the main entrances into town along U.S. Highway 2 and Highway 75.

    The current wooden signs are decades old and have been spruced up now and then over the years, with most of the work involving fresh coats of paint and some other touch-ups.

    But CVB Board Chair Nell DeBoer says the Welcome to Crookston signs come up way short compared to some of the newer, more attractive signs welcoming people into other adjacent communities, such as Fisher and Fertile.

    “Ours are past their prime, way past their prime,” DeBoer said at Thursday’s CVB Board meeting. “When I look at them and compare them to other towns, it’s sad, really sad.”

    An extensive list of partners are lining up to be involved, including the City, CHEDA and Crookston High School, where Travis Oliver’s industrial technology students might be able to use their new router to create new welcome signs out of decking material that is far more weather-proof than wood and requires less maintenance. DeBoer said Oliver has indicated his students could create one sign per year.

    DeBoer said she’s talking with various sign/graphics firms as well to potentially lend their talents and expertise.

    As part of the project, it’s likely that the landscaping beds around the Welcome to Crookston signs, which DeBoer said are “very large” and consist mostly of “rocks and weeds,” would be reduced in size. She said she’s been in touch with local landscapers to get their input on what might work best.

New CVB Visitors Guide and website

    DeBoer and CVB Board member Jess Bengtson have been leading the effort to create a new Crookston Visitors Guide, both in print and online, and a website, and both projects are nearing completion. The most recent Crookston Visitors Guide was four years old, DeBoer said, but she and Bengtson noted that the new print version will be updated at least every year, and the online version will be constantly updated.

    Bengtson has been building the new CVB site, which she said will mirror some of the best components of other CVB sites in the region.

    DeBoer said the hope is to create some kind of “event” to celebrate the launch of the website.