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Published November 16, 2010, 06:20 PM

Crookston Seeing Increase Of Shops Downtown

As Crookston gets rid of one of its oldest buildings in the city, the Chamber of Commerce plans to use that space to open up downtown.

As Crookston gets rid of one of its oldest buildings in the city, the Chamber of Commerce plans to use that space to open up downtown.

The Chamber says it was sad to see the historic Wayne Hotel torn down last week, but they have a plan use that space to build an outdoor community area like Grand Forks' "Town Square."

"Where you have farmers market, a bandshell and things like that but we also need a lot of parking," Lori Wagner with the Crookston Chamber of Commerce said.

The Chamber says no matter what the Wayne Hotel area becomes, it will be good for business downtown. Businesses that Wagner says are now thriving because of a store that isn't downtown: Super Walmart.

"A lot of people from all the small towns have been coming here from Fertile, Fisher, Climax, they all come to Crookston now and they are hitting our specialty stores and that has had to increase our business," Wagner said.

A taxidermy shop, salon and other knick-knack stores are filling up what were empty storefronts. The chamber says new plans for the old Wayne Hotel space will only keep that momentum going.

"I think we've been a good little hidden secret and I think people are taking notice and opening stores and I think that's exciting for our little town," Wagner said.

The Chamber says they like having the small town feel of downtown Crookston and would like to see the rest of the "for rent" signs go down.

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