Visit Winona announces winners of the 2024 Tourism Awards

Visit Winona is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2024 Tourism Awards, an annual event that celebrates the area’s favorite attractions as voted by the community. With over $100 million flowing into the leisure and hospitality industry in Winona County each year, these awards play a crucial role in recognizing the businesses and organizations that contribute to this vibrant sector.

Visit Winona, the convention and visitor bureau dedicated to marketing Winona and its surroundings, hosted the 5th Annual Visit Winona Tourism Awards on May 21 at the newly opened Westfield Bar and Grill. More than a hundred attendees gathered in the beautiful dining room, which was transformed with a festive Miami theme, to honor the winners. This year, over a thousand votes were cast, reflecting the community’s engagement and support for local tourism. The event featured great food, music, free t-shirts, fun swag, and backdrops around the room showcasing Visit Winona’s “Miami of Minnesota” marketing campaign.

2024 Tourism Awards Winners:

(Photo at top from left: Gavin Keeling and Kristi Berge of Heirloom Seasonal Bistro, Pat Mutter of Visit Winona, Shannon Doberstein of Paperbacks and Pieces and Richard Grabow of Alexander Mansion)

A special highlight of the evening was the surprise Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Pat Mutter, the Executive Director of Visit Winona. Hired in 2002, Mutter has successfully led the organization for 22 years, steering the organization through the community’s significant growth in tourism attractions and implementing award-winning branding campaigns. Her leadership has positioned Visit Winona as a trend-setter in the tourism industry.

Pat-Mutter-Visit-Winona-Lifetime-Achievement-Award-Tourism-MinnesotaAward Descriptions:

  • People’s Choice Award: This accolade is for businesses, attractions, or events that draw people to the community, making Winona an amazing place to live and visit. Winners of this award are well-known to both tourists and locals, significantly contributing to the community’s appeal and economy.
  • Hidden Gem Award: This award honors lesser-known treasures beloved by locals, such as small events, unique eateries, architectural wonders, or small businesses. These gems enhance Winona’s charm and offer visitors a special, authentic experience.

Visit Winona’s annual awards not only celebrate the winners but also spotlight the importance of tourism in the local economy. The organization continues to play a pivotal role in promoting Winona as a top destination, driving economic growth and enriching the community’s cultural landscape.

For more information about Visit Winona and the Tourism Awards, please go to

About Visit Winona

Visit Winona is a convention and visitor bureau responsible for marketing Winona and the surrounding area to potential visitors. Through innovative campaigns and dedicated efforts, Visit Winona aims to enhance the local tourism industry and support the businesses and attractions that make Winona a unique and inviting destination.