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TWO HARBORS - The rain did not stop hundreds of thousands of people from making their way to Duluth to see the Tall Ships this weekend, and the impact has been felt all across the Northland.
From Duluth to Two Harbors, the Northland has been overcome by Tall Ships frenzy.
“It’s been great, traffic has been wonderful, business has been great,” Robert Royal, an employee at the Little Store in Two Harbors, said.
The roads have been congested all week.
“The traffic has been crazy, just trying to get out onto the road to turn right is nuts,” Colleen Dugas, of the Country Inn in Two Harbors, said.
And hotels have also been fully booked.
“Every room has been filled from here to Grand Marais,” Rita Schlunegger, owner of Moose-cellaneous Gifts in Two Harbors, said.
How would Schlunegger, the owner of a gift shop know?
“Last night a couple decided they wanted to stay over another night and I called maybe 11 or 12 places and there wasn’t a room,” Schlunegger said.
And she’s right.
“We’ve been filled for the last four nights. They started even before the ships came,” Dugas said.
And when the Tall Ships are in Duluth, every store employee in the Northland, doubles as a tour guide.
“A lot of info on the tall ships, a lot of gas, a lot of maps,” Royal said.
“Where do you park, and will it be crowded and how many boats are coming in, and do you know anything about the boat that isn’t going to come in,” Schlunegger said.
A little bit of extra work, store owners said they don’t mind.
“It’s an honor to have the tall boats come into Duluth, so close to Two Harbors,” Schlunegger said.
“It’s made the days go by a lot faster because it has been busy. But that’s good, it’s been good for us,” Dugas said.
The Tall Ships will be in Duluth until Monday.