ST. CLOUD -- The St. Cloud area is out to impress the 150-200 media personalities who are expected in town for the Governor's Fishing Opener. The goal is to claim the statewide spotlight for three days and reap the rewards of a long term windfall from the event.

It's the first time the Governor's Fishing Opener has been to St. Cloud in its 70-year history. But, Explore Minnesota Director John Edman says the community has impressed attendees with well-planned events and diverse recreational activities.

Edman says Explore Minnesota sees what goes into this event and it's no small task...

First of all, it takes a steering committee. These are the people who are in charge of the various events.  And then, those people branch out and bring a lot of other folks to the table.  There's just hundreds of volunteers that are involved.

It's Alyssa Hayes' job as the Public Relations Coordinator for Explore Minnesota to make sure the media, Governor, Lieutenant Governor and other lawmakers all get a chance to appreciate what the area has to offer.

Hayes says the community is really responsible for a lot of different things when it comes to the Governor's Fishing Opener...

You know, being able to support the lodging capacity, the meals...every breakfast, dinners and all of the various tours that are happening here in St. Cloud.  They have to be able to showcase their destination appropriately because the Minnesota Fishing Opener is so much more than just fishing.  It's about travel and recreation opportunities within the destinations.

Hayes says planning for the Governor's Fishing Opener starts over a year in advance. She says hundreds of volunteers in the chosen community are needed to bring it all together for three days in May. The event culminates with the Celebration Dinner Saturday night. It's at that event where next year's location is announced.

Alex Svejkovsky contributed to this story.

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