Sidewalk, the Personalized City Guide to Entertainment, Goes Live in the Twin Cities

MINNEAPOLIS, July 9, 1997 — No more excuses for going to the same restaurant again, missing the one concert you wanted to see, or enduring another evening of takeout and TV reruns when a city of entertainment options awaits. Twin Cities Sidewalk™ city guide, published by Microsoft Corp., is now available on the World Wide Web at ( .

There are more than 1,100 restaurants in the Twin Cities. Over 90 theaters, concert halls and auditoriums. Museums. Galleries. One of the richest outdoor recreation scenes in the country. And more than 400 golf courses in the state. According to a recent survey by Sidewalk, residents of the Twin Cities report that when they go out on the town, they usually have an
“amazing time.”
But surprisingly:

  • Ninety-six percent of Twin Cities residents say they often watch TV at home, order takeout or rent videos because it is easier than making other entertainment plans.

  • Nearly three-quarters of Twin Cities residents claim they missed out on a performance or event they cared about because they didn’t find out about it in time.

  • Fewer than one in three Twin Cities residents take advantage of local entertainment on a weekly basis.

(Results are from a June 1997 survey by Sidewalk of more than 500 Twin Cities residents.)

“Our research shows metro-area residents are working longer hours and paying the price in their social lives,”
said Doug Henrich, Sidewalk general manager.
“At the end of a long workday or week, many residents find it challenging to sort through the array of entertainment options and get motivated to try new things. That’s why we designed Sidewalk to be a personalized online city guide. It’s like having a virtual team of entertainment advisers on the streets every day matching your tastes and interests with the best the Twin Cities has to offer.”

“Sidewalk provides a way to make better decisions about how to spend your leisure time in the Twin Cities,”
said David Fryxell, executive producer of Sidewalk.
“We cover all the local events, clubs, bars, theaters, movies, restaurants and recreation activities every day, but let you customize the information so you can easily find the one or two that are right for you.”

With in-depth previews, reviews and even personalized recommendations, Sidewalk makes it easier for you to decide what to do and where to go, whether you are looking for the perfect microbrewed beer, a great jazz band or a golf course nearby.
“And for the Minnesotans with outdoor recreation topping their summer to-do lists, Sidewalk covers where to hike, bike, fish and camp and even lets you reserve golf tee times online if you want to sneak in a quick nine after work,”
Fryxell said.

Sidewalk has assembled local teams of award-winning journalists who know the arts and entertainment scene in their cities. By combining their skills with the most powerful Internet technology, Sidewalk delivers personalized recommendations for every resident. The Sidewalk editorial team speaks directly to residents through personal recommendations on their front page and e-mail reminders highlighting events of interest before tickets go on sale, so they don’t have to miss out on the things they care about.

To cover the local rock and entertainment scene, Sidewalk has joined with local Twin Cities radio stations KQRS (classic rock), The Edge (alternative rock) and X105 (active rock). Sidewalk and City Pages have cooperated to develop and maintain the comprehensive Twin Cities database of local events and activities.
“We’re thrilled to be working with these powerful local media brands that share our vision for helping residents get out and enjoy the Twin Cities,”
Henrich said.

Other Sidewalk city guides scheduled to launch this year include San Francisco, Houston, Washington, D.C., San Diego, Denver and Sydney, Australia.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft and Sidewalk are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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