Resorts and campgrounds, a heavy portion of the Minnesota’s tourism allure, are vanishing one by one from lakeshores all across the state, according to the West Central Tribune.
Data from Explore Minnesota Tourism shows the state has lost 317 resorts and 191 private campgrounds over the last 16 years. In Becker County, there are 62 resorts, down six from 2012.
Changing customer tastes, competing attractions, and growing regulations make this a challenging time for the resort and campground industry. That, coupled with the increasing price of lakeshore property, means it’s becoming more and more appealing for owners to sell, a challenge for cities and counties that rely on the tourism revenue brought in by those vanishing resorters.
The resort and camping industry has changed, just in the last five or 10 years. With each new spec added to campers and RVs and the demand for Wi-Fi, people flocking to the lake for the weekend have higher expectations for their quaint campgrounds.
“If you don’t got Wi-Fi, you’re nothing right now,” said Dean Miller, manager of Legion Campground in Detroit Lakes.
Miller says he knows of campgrounds that have spent millions to install Wi-Fi. It’s a spendy upgrade to cover a large campground with adequate Internet access, with an antenna every 100 feet.
Over at Fair Hills Resort, owner and operator Beth Schupp says they spent thousands to run Internet cable through their resort.
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