Minnesota State Park Shutdown Hurts Private Businesses

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July 5, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

The "temporarily closed" sign hanging outside of Minnesota Interstate Park isn't keeping Amy Frischmon from working.

Frischmon, vice president of Wild Mountain, used to have a canoe and kayak rental business stationed in the state park but since the government shutdown began on July 1, she has had to reroute her business to Wild Mountain Campgrounds, KARE-TV, Minneapolis, reported.

Frischmon said the move isn't ideal but at least keeps business going.

"I look at it and think you know we're trying to do our best to run a business," Frischmon said.

But the effort may not be paying off as much as Frischmon would like. With state parks closed businesses that depend on tourism are hurting. July 4th weekend is one of the busiest weekends for places like Wild Mountain but this year is far behind last year.

"Our business is down about 50%. People haven't gotten the word we're still operating," Dan Raedeke, owner of Wild Mountain said.

Raedeke and Frischmon aren't letting a state shutdown shut down a business that has been in the family for four generations. Frischmon is camped outside the deserted state park and redirects people to places that are open while Raedeke helps campers settle in.

The pair has also had to redirect their canoe and kayak rental customers to the other side of the St. Croix. Instead of launching from the Minnesota Interstate Park they are now launching customers from the Wisconsin side of Interstate Park instead.

Frischmon said she would rather operate out of Minnesota but has to do what she can to stay in business.

"We had lots of contingency plans to see what we could do in case it accidentally happened. We were praying it wouldn't happen but it did," Frischmon said.

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