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WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 03, 2011, 10:39 AM

Tourism business picking up in Minnesota

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — Experts say Minnesota's $11 billion travel and leisure industry continues to creep out of the recession, but there could be obstacles ahead, including a government shutdown.

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — Experts say Minnesota's $11 billion travel and leisure industry continues to creep out of the recession, but there could be obstacles ahead, including a government shutdown.

The president of Hospitality Minnesota, Dan McElroy, tells the St. Cloud Times (http://bit.ly/lxtU2O ) that a strong Memorial Day opened the state's businesses travel season.

The state's tourism office is forecasting growth this summer, but there are concerns on the horizon, including shaky hiring numbers, unstable gas prices and unpredictable weather.

There's also a possible state government shutdown if the governor and Legislature can't agree on a budget.

McElroy says it could close some of the state's premier parks along the North Shore of Lake Superior and the businesses in the area would suffer. He says it would also discourage state employees from traveling.

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