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Free beer offered for Minnesotans with proof of vaccination

Plus: Minneapolis Convention Center reopens; Duluth seeing high housing prices; the Dylan tourism dividend; and more.

Photo by mnm.all on Unsplash
Cheers! The Star Tribune’s Jeremy Olson reports: “At least 16 craft breweries and distilleries will offer free or discounted drinks over the next month as part of Minnesota’s strategy to incentivize vaccination against a COVID-19 pandemic that has caused 600,767 known infections and 7,408 deaths in the state. … The beer offers for all vaccine recipients 21 and older follow the governor’s announcement on Thursday of a ‘very Minnesota’ incentive program in which new recipients 12 and older can receive free passes to State Parks and other summer attractions. … Anyone 21 or older with proof of vaccination can receive one free or discounted drink from the participating breweries and distilleries, making the offer an incentive for new recipients but also a reward for past recipients.

On the Dylan tourism economy. MPR’s Dan Kraker reports: “Every May 24 for the past decade — except last year, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic — dozens of people congregate outside a modest duplex on Duluth’s steep hillside, to celebrate the birthday of Bob Dylan, the city’s most famous native son. … And every year, organizers ask people from how far away they came. … ‘In 2019, our last Front Porch Party, there were folks from Australia, Spain, Ireland, Scotland, England and Germany,’ said Zane Bail, one of the organizers of the weeklong Duluth Dylan Fest, which includes concerts and contests and the annual get-together on Dylan’s birthday. … ‘From all over the world they come, and all over the United States,’ Bail said.”

Coming back. Also in the Star Tribune, Neal St. Anthony writes:The Minneapolis Convention Center fully reopened Friday, ending 14 months of limited activity due to COVID-19 and providing another spark downtown as workers begin to return to offices and entrepreneurs take a chance on new business. … The convention center, a huge driver of business for downtown restaurants, hotels and retailers, is open to gatherings with no capacity and social distancing limits, under a recent executive order from Gov. Tim Walz.”

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Going swimmingly. WCCO reports: “While the forecast for Memorial Day weekend doesn’t look too balmy, beaches and pools in Minneapolis will be open. … The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board said that this weekend and next weekend Webber Natural Swimming Pool, Lake Nokomis Main Beach and Wirth Lake Beach will be open with lifeguard service from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. … Also opening this weekend will be dozens of wading pools across the city. Wading pools do not have lifeguards.”

Zenith City housing prices hitting their zenith? Brooks Johnson with one more from the Star Tribune: “It’s going to be a record-breaking summer for Duluth-area real estate if recent trends continue. … Already the median sale price reached a new high of $216,250 last month, according to Lake Superior Area Realtors (LSAR) data, and sellers are getting every penny they ask for — and often more. … ‘We’re breaking a lot of records, and if only we had a crystal ball to see what the future holds,” said Shaina Nickila, president of the LSAR board. “We have a lot of folks coming to the area, and they’re between a rock and a hard place.’”

Hard to get a boat or RV this year. KARE’s Alicia Lewis reports: “In a year where everything shut down due to the COVID-19 panademic, people found ways to embrace the great outdoors. … The pandemic pushed people to make the most of Minnesota’s outdoor spaces by buying things like boats, ATVs and RVs for hitting the lakes, trails, and roads. … ‘To say it’s been a boom is an understatement and it’s across the board,’ said Craig Hiltner, the Business Manager at Monticello RV. ‘Every dealer is struggling to get inventory, to fill customer demand, it’s really something I have never seen.’