Updated: November 16, 2021 08:56 PM
Created: November 16, 2021 05:47 PM
Episodes of ABC's "The Bachelorette" that were shot in Minnesota over the summer will start airing Tuesday night.
The Bachelorette, 28-year-old Michelle Young, is a Woodbury native and current fifth grade teacher in Burnsville.
"We know 'The Bachelorette' was filming in Minneapolis for much of August," said Kathy McCarthy, public relations and communications director at Meet Minneapolis. "We were pleasantly surprised to find out how much time they were spending here."
Promotional clips previewing the season show Young and her suitors at U.S. Bank Stadium, Target Field and various landmarks in Minneapolis.
McCarthy said Meet Minneapolis gave recommendations to the show's producers on hotspots to visit in the Twin Cities.
"The show producers kept a tight lid on what was going on, so while we may have helped facilitate some of what took place, after that, they really didn't share much with us. So we're as excited as everyone else to see what actually makes it into the show," McCarthy said.
Throughout the season so far, Young has spoken repeatedly about her upbringing in Minnesota and how the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 impacted her.
She is one of the first Black Bachelorettes in the show's history.
"We saw Michelle talk about what's gone on in Minneapolis right up front at the beginning of the season, what has happened with the murder of George Floyd and the racial reckoning we're seeing," McCarthy said.
Like many downtown areas, Minneapolis has also experienced struggles due to the pandemic over the last 20 months. According to Minneapolis Downtown Council's "reanimation metrics," only 39% of office space is being used and restaurants are only seeing 55% of seated customers, compared to pre-pandemic levels.
McCarthy hopes the national exposure from "The Bachelorette" will help draw new visitors to the Twin Cities. Meet Minneapolis also created a new blog dedicated to the “best date spots” in the city.
It is rare for the popular ABC show to spend a significant portion of the season in the star's hometown.
"I think one of the great things is Michelle is really passionate about Minneapolis and Minnesota, calling this home. There's a lot to our city's story and I think and I hope that's what we're going to see when the show is here," McCarthy said. "And for people who are travelers looking for new destinations and places to go, maybe now Minneapolis will land on their radar."
Fans in the metro told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS they cannot wait to see local destinations on national television.
"Like most Minnesotans, I absolutely love when there's any kind of local tie-in for anything," said Megan Wahman, who has watched the show since its first season. "It's really fun to have it here in Minneapolis, right in our backyard."
Wahman said she was also excited to see camera crews downtown over the summer.
"As a super-fan and someone who also works in downtown Minneapolis, I work kitty-corner from Marquette Hotel, where they were filming the show. I'm outing myself now as a crazy person," Wahman laughed, "but I was outside scoping it out, trying to figure out where they were going, what they were doing. I just hope they have a great time and show off the city and that people are inspired to come check it out for themselves."
McCarthy added, "We think the city should absolutely be excited about this. There's a lot to see and do here and this is a great way for us to show it off to a national audience."
"The Bachelorette" airs Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on KSTP.
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