How important is erasing the Rust Belt stigma and staking claim to a new brand of life in the Great Lakes region?
International Falls, MN, which sits at the western end of frigid Lake Superior, went to the mat in a legal fight with the Colorado ski town of Fraser for the official title of 'Icebox of the Nation.'
The northern Minnesota town won the lawsuit end of last week and, fittingly, temperatures plunged to 40 below.
"I ran over to the attorney's office and kissed the certificate [granting the trademark]," International Falls Mayor Shawn Mason told the media.
"We're just thrilled the title has been confirmed," added City Administrator Rod Otterness. "If Fraser wants to call itself the Icebox of Colorado, we have no problem."
Some call the victory irrelevant. But the title will make for good T-shirts. And it certainly can't hurt in a post-industrial economy where tourism and outdoor recreation are increasingly lucrative and important.