Escape to the Great Outdoors: Greater MN Rebounding Amid COVID-19
UNDATED -- As we approach the Labor Day weekend the summer vacation season is winding down.
Liz Rammer is the President and CEO of Hospitality Minnesota. She says the industry as a whole is still very challenged, due to COVID-19 restrictions, but it definitely differs based on location.
In general, greater Minnesota facilities are doing better, people have recognized the opportunity to get out and enjoy our great state and have the benefit of outdoor natural social distancing by going to parks and trails and campgrounds and the BWCA, which is great.
Rammer says many operators are reporting losses year over year due to the lost revenue before Memorial weekend, and also because of summer cancellations that were made early on during the pandemic. She says operators are hoping to have a nice fall to help recoup some of those losses.
Minnesota's northern border with Canada has been closed for months now due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Rammer says that has actually helped many resort owners in the far northern reaches of our state.
Our resorts located near there have been able to recoup some of the revenue that would have gone across to our neighbors to the north, and so that's been a good thing. However, those in the northwest angle, because the border is closed, people cannot get to the resorts there, so that's been a huge challenge.
She says while greater Minnesota is doing better, hotels in urban areas are especially continuing to struggle due to the lack of things like sporting events and concerts.
Summertime in Minnesota is a great time to sit outside your favorite restaurant on their patio or sidewalk, however, we know our nice weather doesn't last forever. Rammer is the CEO and President of Hospitality Minnesota. She says the bar and restaurant industry is precarious at best right now and has been the most impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions. She says a plan needs to be made now to help owners when they have to close their patios and bring all their customers inside.
As we start to look at the decline of our weather opportunities with outdoor dining capacity it is critical that we start to look at how we can expand and open more fully and get the restaurant patrons inside before the cooler fall and winter months.
Rammer says many operators are running out of the federal grant and loan money and another round is desperately needed to help them keep their doors open.
Hospitality Minnesota represents 2,000 restaurants, hotels, resorts, campgrounds and outfitters in Minnesota.