MESA, AZ - With the St. Cloud Regional Airport's announcement of regular flights to and from Mesa, Arizona, you might be wondering - why Mesa?

The city might not necessarily be a household name, but Mesa has a noted history of being a strong destination for many mid-westerners, and hosts over 2 million visitors a year.

Michelle Streeter is the Director of Public Relations for the Mesa Convention and Visitors Bureau. She says the city attracts a particularly large number of seasonal visitors from Minnesota.

Streeter says the Mesa community will also benefit from the new connection, as many Arizona residents have ties to the Minneapolis and St. Cloud areas.

Mesa has a population of over 430,000 people - larger than Minneapolis. It's part of the greater Phoenix metro area, which is home to over 4 million people and considered the cultural hub of the southwest.

The Phoenix/Mesa Gateway Airport currently offers daily direct flights to 38 mid-sized cities around the western half of the United States.