Charging for Minnesota Road Maps | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Charging for Minnesota Road Maps

Posted: June 10, 2012 - 9:45pm

A few weeks ago we stopped at the Visitors Center on 371 south of

Brainerd, talked to the friendly attendee, and asked for a Minnesota road

map. She said “That will cost a dollar”. Hmm! Got to wondering how big

the Minnesota tourism budget is and why they started to charge for maps.

Turns out that, not only is the State tourism budget not being reduced, it

now is growing because of a new 1% dedicated tax on car rentals. The total

annual tourism budget is about 13 million. Maybe we, as citizens,

shouldn’t ask for anything from our Government. However, if department

stores can flood our newspapers and mailboxes with advertising, it seems

that Minnesota could use the opportunity to give out road maps with all of

it’s inherent advertising. The Governor and local interests should

remember that the citizens of Minnesota also spend a lot of “in state”

tourist dollars.

I know the Department of Tourism spends a lot of money on “out of

state” TV advertising and other dubious things, but, charging for road maps

makes us want to scratch our heads. There is an old saying that “perception

is reality”, and some how it seems that the State, and local interests

involved ,should think twice about looking like a cheapskate.

Chuck Hagberg

21554 County Road 11

Crosby MN 56441