Summer tourism expected to increase - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Summer tourism expected to increase

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LANESBORO, Minn. (KTTC) --  A new survey indicates the number of tourists will continue to rise this year. Sure there are many places to go this summer, but it just wouldn't be right if we didn't mention Lanesboro when talking tourism.

Over the years, downtown Lanesboro has remained mostly the same structurally, however, like a tourist, businesses come and go.

"We opened the middle of March actually two weeks earlier than we planned because people were in town because the weather was so good," said Valerie Gilfillan.

Formerly the Das Wurst Haus restaurant... Bittersweet Boutique and Antiques wouldn't leave its clients in the cold.  "And they asked to come in and so we just opened the door."

Some doors have been open for more than 10 years.  And the Riverside Restauraunt's owner doesn't expect much change.  "I think probably we'll probably get the same amount of numbers," says owner Mike Charlebois.  "In the early season we are quite weather dependant. And it's obviously a much warmer nicer spring, last year was very cold. The restaurant is probably experiencing one of the better spring times so far."

Right across the road, Brewster's Red Hotel is under new management.

"We didn't buy it for financial 'get rich' thing... we knew that," said owner Jim Watson. "We bought probably more of a lifestyle than anything."

Watson says Charlebois' restaurant will compliment his business well... and he may be right.

"Yeah. We're pretty heavily booked for the summer," he said.  "Our weekends are pretty much booked. Getting a lot of walk in business."

Not everyone visits Lanesboro to walk as bikers were seen hitting the trails.  "There's not bluffs in the Twin Cities," said St. Paul resident Ron Dodd.  "There are bluffs down here and they are very scenic."

Not like the city trails.  "It might take you along a highway that's just any old highway," says Rochester resident Jerry Davidson.  "Open country. I mean it's nice but not as scenic as the bluff country."

A beauty that continues to draw vacationers year after year.

The survey was taken by 370 businesses across the state through Explore Minnesota Tourism.  It shows 44-percent of tourism businesses are expecting a higher revenue than last summer.

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