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'Revenge Tourism' Is Breaking Booking Records At Some Minnesota Resorts And Hotels As Pandemic Wanes

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- If you're hoping to book a last-minute trip out of town in Minnesota, you have some competition.

Vacation spots across Minnesota tell WCCO they're in for a busy summer season – with some breaking booking records.

The Hewing Hotel in Minneapolis's North Loop neighborhood is leaning in to the luxury staycation game. Adam Rucinski, director of revenue management for the hotel, says guests are eating it up.

"Weekends we're sold out," Rucinski said. "We have a rooftop bar that has an indoor and outdoor space. We have the spa pool that is the only outdoor spa pool available in Minneapolis right now for a hotel."

While corporate clients haven't quite returned, locals are keeping the place busy.

"People are saying, 'You know what, let's spend a weekend at the Hewing,'" Rucinski said.

If you're thinking less luxury, more rustic, you're not alone, according to Erika Rivers, director of state parks and trails for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Hewing Hotel
(credit: CBS)

"It is another banner year for Minnesota state parks and trails," Rivers said.

All the camping gear people bought last summer is going to good use again this year.

"We saw an increase during the pandemic year of between 25% and 50% with our state parks and state trails, and we are seeing an additional 40% increase over last year's already high pandemic levels," she said.

Up in the Brainerd lakes area it's more of the same, says Madden's on Gull Lake COO Ben Thuringer.

"Bookings are looking really, really good. We refer to it as 'revenge tourism,'" Thuringer said.

And there's lots of Minnesota staycationers booking at Madden's.

"We're seeing bookings at a record level from both the corporate side and the family travel side," Thuringer said. "I definitely recommend booking soon."

Rivers says the same goes for state parks.

"If you're trying to get a jump on some of the key weekends here in July and August, now's the time to go," Rivers said.

Here's a tip for state park reservations: They allow visitors to cancel as late as two days before a trip. So if you can't find a site for the weekend you want, check again right before your staycation.

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