Advocating for the Tourism Industry

The staff at the Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau (FM CVB) is dedicated to helping local partners grow their businesses and pushing their capital projects forward to help with recruitment, retention, and just overall happiness of the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo community.

You may have heard about the FM CVB and pass by the grain elevator Visitors Center now and then, but what are we truly doing to help push projects forward? How are we advocating for visitor-focused businesses to thrive and succeed?

Here are some of the main things our staff as a whole is focused on, as well as some information on how to request grants and get involved in the work the FM CVB is doing.

Mission Statement

The Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo CVB works to position our distinctive community as a desirable destination and gateway to the region and nation, resulting in a superior Quality of Life for its residents.

Vision Statement

The Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo CVB will be the respected authority on Tourism as an Economic Development strategy that enhances the region’s quality of life.

The Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo CVB will collaboratively develop and promote a shared community vision to enhance the region’s attractiveness for visitors and residents alike.

Convention Center


The Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo community desperately needs more meeting space and a traditional convention center to compete against similarly sized (and smaller) regional cities.

Largest Convention Space in Competitive Destinations:

Bismarck Civic Center 100,000 square foot exhibit hall (dividable)
16 additional meeting rooms
10,000-seat arena (40,000 square foot floor)
Grand Foks Alerus Center 25,588 square foot ballroom (dividable)
11,400 square foot additional meeting room space
80,000-square-foot arena
Sioux Falls Convention Center 50,000 square foot ballroom (dividable)
10,110 square foot additional meeting room space
St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center 150,000 total square foot
19 additional meeting rooms
16,000 square foot ballroom
60,000-square-foot exhibit space
Duluth DECC Cityside: 26,000 square foot ballroom
9 meeting additional rooms
15,000 square foot exhibit hall
Pioneer Hall: 48,250 square foot
Rochester Mayo Civic Center 38,586 square foot ballroom (dividable)
25,000 square foot exhibit hall (dividable)
15,810 square foot auditorium
25,000-square-foot arena
Mankato Verizon Center

21,100 square foot event center
11,200 square foot banquet hall
21,000-square-foot arena
5,532 square foot meeting rooms

Convention Centers in Fargo-Moorhead:

FARGODOME 80,000 square foot arena floor
10,268 ballroom (dividable)
3,160 additional meeting space
Holiday Inn 27,000 square feet total
11,000 square feet ballroom (dividable)
19 total meeting rooms
Delta Hotels by Marriott 23,000 square feet total
15,000 square feet ballroom (dividable)
13 total meeting rooms
Avalon Event Center 15,350 square feet total
6,000 square feet ballroom
6 total meeting rooms
Hilton Garden Inn 15,000 square feet total
10,000 square feet ballroom
7 total meeting rooms

Conventions we’re currently unable to accommodate

Over the years, the CVB has collected a list of lost businesses because of the lack of traditional meeting space. This list continues to grow, and these conferences will continue to move to compete markets until this is rectified.

Unable to Accommodate

Convention Attendees
America’s Small Business Development Centers Conference 1,500 attendees
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association 1,500 attendees
ND United 5,000 attendees
Williston Basin Petroleum Conference 5,000 attendees
YMCA of the USA 5,000 attendees

Conventions who have Outgrown Their Space

Convention Attendees Requirements
Education Theatre Association 2,000 attendees  
ND Grocers Association Annual Meeting 300 attendees Need 12,000 sq ft exhibit +
10,000 sq ft banquet
ND Long-Term Care Spring Conference 900 attendees  
ND Safety Council 1,300 attendees General session area, 218 booths,
11 breakout rooms (80-160 in
each) and an area for safety
demos. Lost to Bismarck Civic Center
Tri-State Aerial Applicators 500 attendees 450 room nights, 50 exhibit booths,
8 breakouts

Conventions we could lose without more space

Organization/Event Attendees Current Location
ND Long-Term Care Fall Conference 500 attendees Delta Hotel
ND Soybean Conference 600 attendees Holiday Inn
NDGOP 2,000 attendees Scheels Arena
Jehovah’s Witnesses 4,600 attendees Scheels Arena
ND Petroleum Council 600 attendees Delta

Why should you care?

The direct visitor spending would be $400,000-$500,000 on average for a conference that might move over to a convention center; knowing the event will likely grow to be larger and double in direct visitor spending, you could expect something closer to $1.3 – 1.5 million per event.

The Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo metro area is missing out on millions of dollars in annual visitor spending due to its lack of significant meeting space. Visitors of all kinds (leisure, business, meetings, and sports) greatly contribute to the local economy. In 2022, hotel room nights alone in this metro area accounted for more than $130 million in spending. All of those visitors also spent millions more on shopping, food & beverage, gas, and entertainment.

The tables above list medium to large conferences and conventions that would have come to FMWF, or given it serious consideration, if we had a large enough space to accommodate them. Also on that list are several events that have been coming here but have outgrown, or are about to outgrow, the facilities we currently have. One cold, hard example: the North Dakota Association of Counties has resisted bringing its annual convention to Fargo, the largest city in the state because it can’t find what it deems adequate space.

Those of us who live here often sell our community short as a place to visit, but those of us tasked with attracting visitors know this: people like to come here. We have multiple vibrant entertainments and shopping districts, and visitor amenities rival those of much larger communities. It’s easier to get here than many people think, and the community is visitor friendly in the most essential way, including ease of navigation. We know that building a true convention space will lead to significant growth in the already robust visitor economy here. And we hope the citizens of Fargo will join us in supporting a project to build true convention space.

Performing Arts Center


The CVB is an active Performing Arts Task Force member working towards building a state-of-the-art performing arts center in Downtown Fargo. The task force has conducted multiple feasibility studies to determine whether or not a performing arts center is needed in the community.

During these studies, the current location of the Civic Center in Downtown Fargo was selected as the preferred site for the future home of the Performing Arts Center.

Why should you care?

The presence of performing arts opportunities in a community directly affects the individual residents and the quality of the community as a whole. A thriving performing arts culture increases the propensity of residents to participate in the arts, which in turn increases the community’s attractiveness to tourists, businesses, people, and investment.

What to expect

A 2015 feasibility study demonstrated that a performing arts center in Fargo would be successful and embraced by the public. The study was updated in 2018, and a task force renewed efforts on the project at that time, further studying potential facility sites and building programs.

Funding for the project, which would replace the Fargo Civic Auditorium adjacent to City Hall, would be a combination of the City of Fargo and donated dollars. In 2019, the City engaged a consulting firm to perform a feasibility study on the potential for philanthropic support for the project, the results of which showed positive interest in such a project.

Discussions have continued with an eye toward bringing a proposal forward to the public sometime in 2024 or later. The goal is to develop a facility that will be acoustically desirable for local and touring groups alike and have the appropriate amount of seating to accommodate community groups and touring shows.

Capital Construction Grants

The Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau Board of Directors manages a Capital Grant Program, funded by one-third (1 penny on the dollar) of the lodging tax levied in Fargo and West Fargo. The entire three percent lodging tax from Moorhead goes to our operating budget, but Moorhead entities can apply for grants. The goal of the grants is to help with destination development throughout the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo region.

The Board will consider grant requests for projects involving costs related to capital construction that will have a demonstrable and positive effect on the community’s economy.  Any such projects must be in an area directly related to tourism.

Learn more & apply now

Event Assistance Grants

The FM CVB also provides dollars to help enhance or start events in the community. Previous recipients of these grants and sponsorships include Fargo-Moorhead PRIDE, the Downtown Street Fair, Frostival, the Fargo-Moorhead Studio Crawl, and many more throughout the FM CVB’s fiscal year.

Learn more & apply now