Vivo Sold
New Restaurant Coming "Tavern Grill + Bar"
On Wednesday, VIVO was sold to Hemisphere Restaurants of Minneapolis which has the Tavern Grill Group of Restaurants in Edina (France Ave.), Woodbury, Arden Hills, Blaine and Fargo. They plan to open in late August. They describe themselves as “Upscale, Casual, Full Service Dining of the build your own burger (1,000 combinations), pizzas and salads as a celebration of food, beer and great people.” We asked Mayor Mary who was instrumental in securing this and she stated “We are so very fortunate that it took very little time to ring this gorgeous space back to life with a great restaurant. Apple Valley proves again how truly solid this market is and that we have a reputation as a destination place.” 

Chamber President Ed Kearney stated “I have dined at two of their locations and they are amazing, especially in how friendly they all were. Their service is “real.” Ed spoke with owner President Tim Cary this morning. Tim stated, “We think Apple Valley will be one of our best markets for sure. I’m not kidding. Apple Valley’s housing, retail, businesses and people make it so vibrant and the demographic is exactly what we are looking for. We are an all scratch brand from everything we do, even our steaks are cut here. We also actually look for responsible advocacy for businesses as seen in how closely your City and Chamber work together and are resilient. We have noticed over the years that Apple Valley has built out so quickly yet you obviously insist on quality attractiveness and materials in building and that is smart. We also have full catering with full staff and trucks. We are good community stewards and will always give back. We can’t wait to open in Apple Valley."
Chamber & City Send Joint Letter to Governor Walz
Concerning the MN Zoo
Apple Valley Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland and Apple Valley Chamber & CVB President Ed Kearney SENT A LETTER YESTERDAY TO THE GOVERNOR CONCERNING THE THREAT OF MN ZOO CLOSING AS STATED BY THE GOVERNOR WEDNESDAY. Below is the text with the help of City Administrator TOM LAWELL. The special session of the Legislature is about to end and Apple Valley receives 1.3 million visitors annually through the MN Zoo. They have a huge local impact economically, socially, recreationally, environmentally, conservationally and educationally.
MN Zoo Implements Limited Drive-Thru Adventure
Cost is $50 Per Car
APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (FOX 9) - Still closed under restrictions put in place due to COVID-19, the Minnesota Zoo is offering a new drive-thru experience to raise money as the center faces closure.
This week, the zoo asked lawmakers for a $6 million bailout to cover losses incurred during the months-long closure.

With no revenue coming in, the zoo is still burdened with upkeep costs to take care of its 5,000 animals. Governor Walz says, without help, the zoo could be  forced to close .

However, Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka was critical of a bailout for the zoo on Thursday, offering a simple solution instead.

"I have a solution for the Minnesota Zoo: Open the zoo," he said.

As lawmakers seem split on a bailout, the zoo is launching a fundraiser of its own to raise money.

The drive-thru event, called "Beastly Boulevard," will allow visitors to take a leisurely drive through the zoo grounds, taking the zoo's Northern Trail pass bison, horses, camels, llamas, cows, and a host of other creatures.

Tickets for the event go on sale on Friday. The zoo is charging $25 per car for members and $50 for non-members. You can click here for ticket information.

The drive-thru experience will run from June 24 to July 5.
DEED Offers Free Online Learning Content to Minnesotans
A Partnership With Coursera
Starting today, DEED has announced they have signed a contract with COURSERA online skills training consisting of over 3,800 courses taught from over 200 top Universities and businesses around the world. 60 of the courses alone are through the Univ. of MN. Their timing during this crisis couldn’t be better and it is all FREE. You must sign up no later than Sept. 30th and the current DEED contract runs through March 2021. 

Chamber President spoke today with the Governor’s Dir. of Workforce Development Board Ben Baglio, who happens to live in Apple Valley. He had already spoken with Mayor Mary about this unique program and she relayed it to Ed.  

Ben told Ed this morning:
“COURSERA was started by a former Stanford Professor and later Administrator who saw the need. This is much different from (which was bought out by Linked IN) or in that the levels are college level. They are heavy in IT courses, digital, social media, mail chimp, professional development, HR (especially the UM selections), healthcare, the cloud, language for business (English), cyber security, Excel, Wordpress and even mental health well being courses from Yale just to name a few off the top of my head.”  

This program is good to expand your skills, better train or cross train your smaller staff during this crisis, have your kids take a course or think about looking into another skill, field or starting a new business yourself. If DEED did not have this contract, it would have cost $400 to access. Their timing is just in time!

Minnesotans who are interested can provide their name and contact information at   to receive access.
In Case You Missed It...
Minnesota Regulators Approve 4.25% Rate Increate for Dakota Electric
Minnesota utility regulators have unanimously approved an $8.5 million, or 4.25%, rate increase for Dakota Electric Association, just short of what the cooperative was seeking.

Dakota Electric, which has 108,000 customers, had asked the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for a rate increase of $8.7 million.

The PUC Thursday essentially adopted the rate increase approved by an administrative law judge. Such judges are often appointed to rate cases and other contested issues before the PUC.
Dakota Electric’s last rate increase was in 2015.

Dakota Electric — which also has customers in parts of Scott, Rice and Goodhue counties — is the only retail Minnesota retail electric cooperative whose rates are subject to PUC approval.

Dakota purchases electricity from Great River Energy, a wholesale power cooperative based in Maple Grove.
Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce |