The Winona Daily News took a whack at Rah Rah Rochester in its Sunday editorial, which seems like an odd waste of space for Winona readers, especially on a Sunday editorial page, but the writers apparently enjoyed it.
The piece by Jerome Christenson offers these 10 reasons why more tourists purportedly "visit Winona rather that (sic) Rochester":
The Mississippi River vs. the Zumbro River
OK, I'll give Jerome that one...
The band shell on the shore of Lake Winona vs. the goose poop on the shore of Silver Lake
Tossup...Lake Winona isn't exactly a garden spot, either.
The Lamberton Home vs. the Ronald McDonald House
Which one has more value? I'll take RM House.
Watching tows on the river vs. watching ambulances at the ER
Winona has two universities vs. Rochester wants a university
Winona's university-envy must stop...in fact, Rochester HAS several universities on the ground here, including a Winona State campus...but last I heard, Winona doesn't have a University of Minnesota campus.
The Great River Shakespeare Festival vs. Rochesterfest
Can you get a pulled-pork sandwich at the Shakespeare Festival? Let's compare Rochesterfest, though, with...what's the Winona city festival again? And how does Winona compare with Rochester as a theater town?
The view from Garvin Heights vs. the KTTC Skycam
Point already scored for Mississippi vs. Zumbro...
Princess Winona vs. Henry Plummer
Are we comparing statues? Not sure there's a statue of Plummer...there's a gargoyle of Henry on the Plummer Building...if that's the choice, sure, I'll take the princess.
Sugar Loaf vs. Pill Hill
At least Pill Hill isn't falling apart like Sugar Loaf.
The Prairie Island Campground vs. the federal prison.
Must be an inside joke.
Uh, good luck with that slogan, eh…
In the Winona Daily News' neighborly spirit, here are Five Reasons Winona Might Resent Rochester:
Winona used to be bigger. (Mayo alone has more employees than Winona has residents.)
Ski-U-Mah, Rah! Rah! Rah! Rah!
Nobody knows their tourism motto ("Historic Island City").
Watching tow boats gets boring after awhile.
Brad Jones, who as the Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau chief has the uneviable job of defending Rah Rah, posted an even-tempered response to the Winona editorial, pointing out that Rochester visitors -- tens of thousands of them -- "don’t just stay in Rochester, they contribute to all of Southern Minnesota’s economy, including Winona. (The Daily News writer) does a great job of pointing out the wonderful attributes of the Winona area while taking for granted where many of the dollars spent in Winona by visitors come from."
I would propose to our friends to the east to look beyond Minnesota and Rochester when competing for the almighty tourism dollar, but rather be our partner to attract more visitors and patients to southern Minnesota, so we can send them to enjoy places like Winona on a weekend trip. This partnership starts with a positive attitude toward each other’s communities, not harsh criticisms and comparisons like Mr. Christenson has done.