Satisfaction Gap a Concern for Mayo's $5B Expansion

Posted at: 02/04/2013 6:59 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Mayo Clinic's announcement that they are hoping to invest $5 billion dollars to make Rochester a Destination Medical Center is stirring some criticism.

Some say Rochester is lacking in several areas key to attracting more visitors and residents.
It all stems from market research that finds there is a satisfaction gap among Mayo Clinic employees and visitors.

Stating that the city lacks things like lodging, entertainment, restaurants, and shops. City leaders are hoping their billion dollar investment will help improve that.

While Rochester is the fastest growing city in Minnesota, some may say it has some catching up to do.

"I was like there's nothing much to do except for Mayo Clinic," said Prasita Khana.

Khana moved to Rochester from Nepal five years ago. She says the city is in need of more entertainment options.

"More clubs or book stores, more malls stuff like that," said Khana.

According to market research there is a satisfaction gap when it comes to visitors and Mayo employees experiences on the mayo campus and their experiences in the city of Rochester.

Brad Jones with the Rochester Convention and Visitor Bureau says the city definitely has some growing to do if it's going to become a global medical destination.

"I would say we're learning what the customer satisfaction gaps are, it's identifying those and building the infrastructure," said Jones.

But there are critics that say Rochester simply cannot compete with competitors that are in major cities. Especially when it comes to finding a talented work force.

That's one of the reasons Jones says downtown development is so important.

"The workforce, they used to go where the jobs were, now were finding they will go somewhere for a job, but they look at where they are going to live," said Jones.

Many are confident the billions of dollars in Mayo Clinic investments will be enough to entice new businesses to the area.

"A lot of people are hesitant to make an investment unless they know the need it there," said Jones.

Khana is hopeful there will be more to do in the near future.

"You just have to wait for this," said Khana.

Mayo's destination medical center is expected to more than double the size of downtown Rochester. And It would add more than thirty thousands jobs to the area.

The city council is expected to pass a symbolic resolution supporting the plan at their meeting Monday night.