Root River Trail communities anticipate future DMC impacts - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Root River Trail communities anticipate future DMC impacts

LANESBORO, Minn. (KTTC) -- Destination Medical Center is staged to have a massive impact on the city of Rochester, many residents in surrounding communities are wondering how they will feel the effects of such an investment.

Dozens of residents from Preston, Harmony, Peterson, and other towns gathered Monday night in the Commonweal Theatre in Lanesboro to learn how the multi-billion dollar project will reach their towns.

Thousands of people travel to the towns forming the Root River Bike Trail each year, but with DMC undoubtedly taking a more identifiable shape in the coming years, many community members are wondering if the change will affect them.

In the spring through fall months, towns such as Lanesboro are bustling with visitors from not only the Southeastern Minnesota region, but from around the globe.

Business owner Barb Johnson said it's no different in her store, Potiche Pottery and Gifts.

"I mean the bike trail is a big draw, the natural beauty of what's here, the art community is a great draw as well so it's a really nice relaxing place to come," she said.

However, in the winter, these communities can get fairly quiet.  Residents are hoping DMC can help resurrect their towns during the off-season.

"There's the possibility of employees relocating to these communities and repopulating the small towns which as everyone knows are in decline," said Hal Cropp, executive director of Commonweal Theatre.  "There's the benefit that's going to be received by visitors coming to Destination Medical Center for medical treatment."

It is not just business that the Root River towns are seeking, but something to link them together and also to Rochester.

Monday night's event showcased the nine communities forming the Root River trail, and demonstrated how the towns and businesses are what will help make DMC what the state is hoping it will be.


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