Minnesota Campgrounds Frustrated Not Being Open for Memorial Day Weekend

Campgrounds in Minnesota were hoping to open for Memorial Day weekend, but they will not be able to open until at least June 1 under the new "Stay Safe" mandate.

DULUTH, Minn. – In the new “Stay Safe” mandate from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, private and public campgrounds in the state will remain closed to recreational campers until at least June 1. For now, only remote camping or long-term camping is allowed. With Memorial Day weekend just a few days away, many campground workers are frustrated that they are still waiting to open.

Private campgrounds in Wisconsin, Iowa and the Dakotas are currently open and can welcome recreational campers for one of the busiest weekends of the year. But campground operators in Minnesota will have normally full campsites staying empty.

“I think that it would start filling up and it’d be close to full,” Indian Point Campground host Phillip Trout said.

The Memorial Day weekend holiday is one of the three biggest weekends for most campgrounds every year, along with the 4th of July and Labor Day, and Indian Point Campgrounds will be missing out on those crowds.

“We would be at least a third full on a Tuesday like this leading into Memorial day and memorial weekend we would fill up so starting on Thursday. We had a couple of reservations coming in today that we had to call the customers and refund the money,” Indian Point Campground manager Charlie Stauduhar said.

Minnesota campgrounds were hoping to be cleared to open this month, but with June 1 now the governor’s target reopen date, it’s definitely a financial hit.

“We lost a whole month worth of business; tourists coming to town, so it’s a financial hit for sure,” Stauduhar said.

“Usually, most campgrounds opened up May 1 or between May 1 and May 14 or Mother’s Day, somewhere around those areas and this year it’s getting pushed off until at least June as far as we know,” Trout added.

Workers say the most frustrating part is not knowing when they can open.

“I think it’s the unknown of when we can get campers in here, what kind of campers, whether we can bring tent campers in or just people that are self-contained in their own campers and can’t use the bathrooms or don’t have to use the bathrooms,” Trout said.

Indian Point has 78 sites and they’ve set up special rules for when they’re allowed to have guests once again.

“We won’t be taking tent campers. Our wash rooms and showers will remain closed at least through the month of June. Customers and campers that come have to rely on their own facilities within their campers. It will be different for sure. It won’t be the same busy city that we’re used to,” Stauduhar said.

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