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Old 03-11-2014, 01:04 PM
Location: Type 0.7 Kardashev
10,909 posts, read 8,950,313 times
Reputation: 38933


I'd rather live/work/raise kids in Rochester.

But I'd rather spend a week or two pretty much anytime from late-April thru mid-October enjoying Duluth.
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:36 PM
464 posts, read 762,158 times
Reputation: 340
Agreed. Rochester if I was going to pick a place to live (unless I somehow landed a really great job in Duluth), but definitely Duluth for someplace to spend a weekend.
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:24 PM
Location: Best Place on Earth...
12 posts, read 21,142 times
Reputation: 71
Originally Posted by AllyG47 View Post
1. Which city do you like more??
I love Rochester. In fact, I'm thinking about moving there. I have relatives in Duluth and it's a weird city. Half of the city is run down and the other half is just an urban wasteland (lots of shopping malls and outlet centers). Most of Rochester is new or is being updated. They have cultural events going on all the time. They actually get some big bands coming through on tour. The Mayo Clinic is top notch and there are two major universities that offer classes in Rochester plus they have a community college that's pretty great.
2. Which city has a brighter future??
Rochester definately has a brighter future. They have the Mayo Clinic that employs hundreds of people. They have IBM and the universities. The percentage of people with college degrees are higher in Rochester. I can't even think of any major employers in Duluth.
3. What are some major differences between the two cities??
Rochester is a very scenic city that offers a lot of culture and nightlife. Duluth is more rundown with old buildings and I don't find the scenery very appealing. They have the lake but Rochester also has some recreation lakes plus it is located on the Zumbro River. Rochester is situated in the hills and the woods - it's very pretty, especially in the fall. It's only an hour from the Mississippi so there are a lot of state parks nearby for outdoor recreation. Duluth stays cool, even cold, for most of the year while Rochester enjoys a nice climate for most of the year.
4. Which city has better neighborhoods??
Rochester has many family friendly neighborhoods and up and coming neighborhoods that are close to downtown. I'm not too familiar with Duluth's neighborhoods but my Aunt that lives in Duluth is in a very crummy neighborhood that has high crime. Rochester has a low crime rate for it's size. Rochester has many parks so every neighborhood is close to outdoor recreation.
5. Which city has a better downtown??
Rochester by far. They have better bars, free parking on nights and weekends, it's right on the river and it's gorgeous at night when the buildings are lit up. During the day, they have street fairs with bands and food vendors. It's a lot of fun.
6. Which city is prettier? (Nature and man made)
Rochester by a lot. Rochester is located on a river and is nestled into rolling hills. There are lakes located within the city. The city also has a lot of parks. Man made, Rochester again. Rochester has really pretty modern buildings and they have some cool older buildings. The buildings and even homes in Rochester are upkept very well. Duluth has a bunch of run down buildings that are an eyesore. Every time I've been to Duluth, the lake has been pretty ugly (gray with a freezing cold spray blowing in your face - not appealing to me).
7. Which is more recognizable on a regional (midwest) and national scale?
I think Rochester is more recognizable. Everyone knows where the Mayo Clinic is located. Most people I know from out state think that Duluth is a city in Georgia. Not many people have heard of Duluth, MN. Some people do mix up Rochester, MN with the city in NY but everyone has heard of the Mayo Clinic. Many celebrities come to Rochester for health care.

I'm editing this to add that Rochester has a very unique and interesting history. The first college in the state was founded in Rochester by Dr. Mayo. Rochester was also a stagecoach stop between St Paul and Dubuque, IA in the 1850's and 60's.
Are you stupid or being paid by the city of Rochester?
If this is your opinion then you've not been in Duluth at all.
"by a lot?" insofar as the scenery? Are you kidding? Rochester is as
bland a city as I've ever seen whereas Duluth could easily be on any
Postcard for a beautiful place.
Either way I can't stand either city....I'm just pointing out the stark
difference between reality and your "opinions."
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:40 PM
Location: Rochester, MN
80 posts, read 88,487 times
Reputation: 135
1. Which city do you like more??
Having lived in Rochester for the past 15 years, I obviously have a bias towards Rochester. I have visited Duluth a couple times and driven through it on the way to Lutsen. Because both cities are so different, there is no clear "winner" here. Minnesota is definitely privileged to be home to two such amazing cities!

2. Which city has a brighter future??
While Duluth has passed it's prime, it population seems to have stabilized. I don't see it growing very much, but Duluth will continue to be the regional center for NE Minnesota as well as a major tourist draw. Rochester, on the other hand, has doubled in population over the past 30 years and appears poised to do so again. With the recently approved Destination Medical Center initiative, Rochester is expected to support 35,000-45,000 new jobs. This will position Rochester is the world's premier destination for health and wellness, with a strong biotechnology sector. Also, the University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) is starting to prepare the downtown site for its campus. UMR, along with the Mayo Medical School, will provide healthcare and biotechnology education to support the workforce.

3. What are some major differences between the two cities??
Duluth's economy has industrial roots-primarily a blue collar workforce. It's economy is now also supported by tourism, healthcare, and education (University of Minnesota Duluth). Rochester feels like a newer city, with a primarily white-collar workforce. It's workforce is dominated by Mayo Clinic (~38,000 employees) and less so by IBM (~2,300 employees). The education and biotechnology sectors both started several years ago and will become an important part of the economy in the next 20 years.

4. Which city has better neighborhoods??
Not being very familiar with Duluth, it's hard to say. I have head that Duluth has some very nice older neighborhoods, probably similar to Pill Hill in Rochester. Rochester has seen many newer developments due to its recent population growth, but these would obviously lack the character of many of Duluth's neighborhoods. It's really just a matter of personal preference.

5. Which city has a better downtown??
Duluth's downtown was built mostly in the past, but has had some time to develop since then. I wouldn't be surprised if it has a slight edge right now and a little more to do. Rochester's downtown has changed dramatically in just the past 15 years, both in term of new buildings and events going on. They started what is called Thursdays on First and Third every week of the summer in which vendors set up dozens of booths downtown and sell food, handcrafted goods, etc. Recently, a street was removed from one block of downtown to create Peace Plaza, solely for pedestrian use. They have a stage set up most of the summer for musical artists to perform and show outdoor movies on Saturday nights. Additionally, there are some amazing plans to further improve the downtown nightlife and culture in the future.

6. Which city is prettier? (Nature and man made)
Nature-Duluth hands down. The beauty of lake superior and the North Woods are unparalleled by anything else in Minnesota. Rochester and the rest of SE Minnesota are not just flat farmland, however. It's a hilly area, with lots of rivers and lakes within driving distance. There are some great bike trails between Rochester and nearby towns.
Man made-Rochester. Duluth does have a few nice older buildings downtown (Alworth building and Greysolon plaza), but none of them compare to the Plummer Building in Rochester. As for modern buildings, Rochester has many more. A couple a somewhat bland, but most are very high quality. The Gonda building and Siebens building are prime examples. Rochester also has a 22-story tower slated to begin construction later this year. It will consist of a high-end hotel, luxury apartments, retail, and restaurants.

7. Which is more recognizable on a regional (midwest) and national scale?
On regional scale, I would say it is very close. Possibly Duluth, due to the tourism. Unless, you or someone you know has a reason to go to Mayo Clinic for medical care, you're unlikely to visit Rochester. Nationally, I think Rochester has the edge. Given the amazing tourist destinations all throughout the US and the world, Duluth doesn't stand out above others. For medical care on the other hand, Mayo Clinic is rivaled by few. I have met people from the Middle East, Mongolia, Central America, Australia, etc... all coming to Rochester because of Mayo Clinic. So, Duluth is a much better place to visit, but Rochester is probably better known on a national scale.
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