Posted at: 01/11/2013 7:17 PM
Updated at: 01/11/2013 10:42 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
A decade in the making, the new and improved terminal of Duluth International Airport is finished and ready for travelers. Friday, lawmakers from across the state helped to dedicate the new facility.
"I see this as a gateway to the future, not only for visitors, but also for the great industry and business that is thriving and growing here in Duluth," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
The new terminal is no larger than the old facility, which was built in 1973, but high ceilings and tall windows open up the entire building. Tom Werner, Executive Director at Duluth International, said the new facility has everything a seasoned traveler would expect to find in a "big city" airport, but it hasn't lost its Northland charm.
"Through the design we've been extremely happy with how we've been able to give travelers a 5-10 minute snapshot as they walk through building of what northern Minnesota and its people are all about," said Werner.
Design features like birch trees etched in windows and how the roof line resembles a wave of Lake Superior help remind flyers they are in northern Minnesota.
Werner said he hopes this new terminal will act as a springboard for new opportunity, but if anything travelers will be amazed by this new gateway to the region.
"The whole experience is just an upgrade from what we've had, so I think people will be impressed," said Werner.
The first flight will depart from the new terminal Monday morning for Chicago.