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Published June 14, 2011, 10:25 PM

Campground Brings More Money to EGF; Still Part of State Shutdown

The Red River Recreation Area in East Grand Forks is going to bring in $50,000 more to the city this year, good news for the mayor and City Council.

The Red River Recreation Area in East Grand Forks is going to bring in $50,000 more to the city this year, good news for the mayor and City Council.

"It's one of the few, if not the only state park that actually makes money," said East Grand Forks City Administrator Scott Huizenga.

The City Council approved a five year deal to continue to operate the campground this big money-maker and get in the action.

"All of the revenue with the campground stays in the city, we only reimburse the state for operational costs," said Huizenga.

There is also a bit of bad news.

"So far the DNR says it's still a state facility so it shuts down with every other park."

Though up in the air in recent weeks, now campgrounds like Red River would close during a Minnesota government shutdown.

The council did try working out a deal with the DNR to operate this tourist attraction during a state blackout because of how profitable the park is.

"It hurts the people downtown," said council member Henry Tweten.

No business at the campground means less business at restaurants and shops within walking distance of Red River.

Plus, there is a tarnished reputation to consider.

"What if you had a reservation for six months or a year, and you and your family go on vacation. You get a lot of unhappy campers," said Tweten.

"We're trying to work with state leaders to getting a resolution to that issue as well," said Huizenga.

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