April 1, 2010


Ely, Minn. and Forest Service Sign Deal with Private Funding Source

ELY, MINNESOTA — Ely, Minn announces today it has, in conjunction with the Forest Service, 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.”

The public is being invited to weigh in with comments at www.ely.org.