Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism CEO/President Nort Johnson told KDHL AM Minnesota listeners today exciting news came out of the first quarter lodging tax receipts.   Johnson said second quarter results are not available yet.

Johnson speculates a few things may have contributed to a record for lodging tax earnings in February and March.  You might recall February was filled with snow so many travelers may have been forced to stop in Faribault or stay longer than planned in Faribault.

Johnson also believes new establishments like 10,000 Drops Craft Distillers and The 3 Ten event venue downtown have drawn more visitors from outside the area who utilize lodging establishments in Faribault.

The Chamber CEO/President also touched on the parking in the downtown area.

The former Knights of Columbus Hall (KC's Building) at 17 3rd Street NE was recently demolished and will be utilized for parking to help alleviate some of those issues.

Johnson believes the number of parking spaces developed there will be 17 and if the former Miladys Salon, Laundromat, Market buildings at 27 3rd Street NW, 223-225 1st Avenue NW are razed then more parking would be provided.

He points out at times downtown parking currently is capacity with a couple empty buildings downtown.  The hope is to fill those buildings and Johnson says that would mean more need for parking spots.  Fulfilling that future need now makes sense to him.