On the paddle to the takeout after a camping trip, the question often arises: “What major news did we miss while in the wilderness?” I returned from a two-day BWCAW trip late tonight and hardly considered what might have happened during such a brief jaunt out. However, I was shocked when I found this major international news in a press release in my email.


Ely, Minn. Signs Deal with Private Funding Source

ELY, MINNESOTA — April 1, 2010 — Ely, Minn announces today it has, signed a multi-year deal for naming rights to the legendary Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). The new corporate sponsor will be Minnesota-based International Dairy Queen, Inc. (IDQ).

The Boundary Waters region, on the US-Canada border between Ontario and Minnesota, is a popular destination for campers, as well as canoe and fishing enthusiasts, and those looking for natural scenery and relaxation.

As of today, the region will be officially known as the International Dairy Queen Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, or IDQBWCAW.

“We have been fielding offers for years, turning down everyone from AARP to the ASPCA. But this year, we had to make a difficult decision,” says Roger Skraba, Ely Mayor. “Beautiful unspoiled wilderness doesn’t pay for itself. And who doesn’t have fond memories of a Dilly Bar? It’s a win-win. This will usher in an era of great corporate, tourism and environmental partnerships.”

“We were looking for a way to promote the 25h birthday of our signature Blizzard Treat, as well as a unique tribute to International Dairy Queen in this, our 70th year,” says Michael Keller, Chief Brand Officer for IDQ. “When we thought about it, this made perfect sense. Ely has blizzards, we have Blizzards. They’re international, we’re international. They have a guy named Buster who hangs out at one of the local bars. We have a treat called the Buster Bar. It’s sort of serendipitous, actually.”

I know this is shocking news. Can you complain or stop this? Well, first check the date of the press release, and then you can go to the Ely Chamber of Commerce website (ely.org) for more info. We’re happy to outfit your Boundary Waters canoe trip no matter what it’s called.

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