Letter to the Editor: Why would someone want to stay at an RV park in Crookston?

Submitted by James A. Urdahl
Crookston Times

    RV parks? You want to upgrade the RV park located in Central Park, in the middle of a dessert! I read in the Crookston Times, dated 21 April 2021, that the city is pushing the state and city residence to pay approximately $1.79 million dollars for Central Park RV renovations and expansion. A hefty price tag. For what? Pushing to update/add more spaces to Central Park, in my opinion, is a waste of money that could be used for something else.

    After the nation mellows out from the COVID-19 mess the city of Crookston better sit down and figure out ways to attract visitors to the city to help fill the RV park, or the empty rooms at the motels/inns, if Crookston is to survive!

    What would attract visitors when most all the restaurants and shopping is at the north end of the city? Of course visitors staying in Central Park can always for a walk through the streets of a ghost town and view all of the empty buildings. They could visualize how Crookston “used to be”…so many shoppers that parking was hard to find, people complaining that there was not enough parking spaces in the downtown area, sidewalks full of people going from store to store. Not anymore!

    What are the attractions at/from Central Park? Fishing, taking a walk through a ghost town, watch the grass grow, and pay for the privileges.

    I heard awhile back that the city was tossing around the idea of putting an RV park on the north end of the city? Why not? There is no real reason to upgrade Central Park when all of the city businesses and attractions are moving north. Giving visitors a “Welcome to Crookston” package only tells them that they need to drive miles to shop or visit any attraction or events.

    All I hear is “Crookston needs ways to attract visitors!” Try looking for larger events that attract 1,000s vs. 100s. Put the thought that “Crookston, MN is the Best place to hold our event) into people’s mind. Larger events bring in more money! Vacant rooms would be filled, restaurants would stay busy, retail stores would gain customers, etc.

    If this is too much for the city to digest than stay with small town local events and continue to complain about lack of tourist/visitors. If you want more, or upgraded RV spaces, then you need to find ways to fill them up, besides the casual travelers, in order to justify the projected cost that you are looking at.

James A. Urdahl

Beltrami, Minnesota