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Coronavirus In Minnesota: Gov. Walz Approves Summer Resorts To Reopen By Choice With Stipulations

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- On Wednesday, Gov. Tim Walz approved the reopening of summer resorts across the state, as long as resorts operate with sanitary and social distancing practices in place.

Communal amenities are not allowed to be used, except retail food stores, laundry facilities, fish cleaning stations and docks, as long as social distancing and enhanced cleaning protocols are followed.

Sugar Lake Lodge up in Grand Rapids says they have already changed some normal procedures to make it safe to reopen.

They have doubled the amount of fire pits they have so guests won't gather close together. "We have about 30 fire-pits throughout the property and we plan to double that," said Fred Bobich, the owner of the lodge.

Sugar Lake Lodge has an 18-hole course and Bobich says they will be encouraging golfers to walk and not use carts, including offering a big discount for walkers. It will be $9 for 9-holes, $18 for 18-holes, and $47 for 18-holes if golfers rent a cart.

"We're going to encourage people do what they did years ago and walk the golf course," Bobich said.

Sugar Lake Lodge will also have a staff member wipe down all paddles and boats after use on Siseebakwet Lake, also known as Sugar Lake.

Finally, they are not penalizing guests for cancelling.

"If things change the day before, we're going to be willing to accommodate that too," said Abby Oxborough, Bobich's daughter and employee.

Hospitality Minnesota says most resorts were waiting on Wednesday's recommendation from the Governor to decide whether or not to open this summer.

If the governor's Stay-At-Home order stays in place into the summer months, the order discourages unnecessary travel, and asks people to remain close to their homes.

Gov. Walz says resorts do not have to open up if they are not comfortable with it.

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