Nort Johnson, President/CEO of the Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism says COVID-19 has had a major impact on their tourism budget.

Lodging taxes collected in the city are used to promote the community and Johnson told KDHL AM Minnesota listeners today those funds "dropped off the table."

Johnson says, "Those lodging taxes dropped off the table because people aren't traveling and they're not staying.  A majority of those funds are used to purchase advertising to promote the area and those dollars just aren't there."

Johnson was "bummed" the Blue Collar Festival had to be cancelled in Faribault he said, " most specifically due to the liability issues."

"We're willing to take appropriate measured risks.  Anytime you have an event, COVID or not there are risks involved with gathering people under your umbrella and there are coverages that help you make those decisions.  COVID is not yet a covered circumstance."

The Faribault Area Chamber Executive added, "Let's just say as an example we had the Blue Collar and organizers even with their best efforts weren't able to keep somebody with the virus from coming in and infecting others. Those people could feasibly make a lawsuit against whoever hosts the event.  Right now there's no coverage for that.  There's no exemption for that and there's no coverage if you were to be sued."

Johnson says, "Even if you won a lawsuit the expense of going through something like that would be disastrous for a small organization.  If the Paradise were holding events and something like that happened it could be disastrous for them.  Same thing for the Chamber or Blue Collar Festival."