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Meet & Greet Your Legislator

January 27, 2021 @ 4:30 p.m. – join us on a Zoom gathering to meet and greet a number of legislators from the Capitol, both newly elected first-term members and those with more seniority (we will attempt to particularly recruit and invite the newly elected senators and representatives.)  The intention is to make our presence known, allow them time to introduce themselves and “test run” discussing our resort issues in preparation for our Zoom Day on the Hill event in March. 

Legislative Advocacy Results in Passage of SF 3358

Congratulations to the Community of Minnesota Resorts! Our legislative lobbying during Day on the Hill and cooperative effort with the Department of Labor and Industry has proven to be successful! Governor Walz recently signed SF 3358. We as resorts can now hire 16 & 17 year old youth to operate “lawn care equipment” meaning lawn trimmers, weed cutters, and machines (riding and walk behind mowers) designed to cut grass and weeds that meet safety specifications. Please ensure the safety of all workers when using this equipment by providing proper training, ensuring safety mechanisms are present and operational, and supplying personal protective equipment as outlined in the bill. The Community of Minnesota Resorts and its members worked hand in hand with the Department of Labor and Industry to include resorts in this bill and get it passed.  This is no small accomplishment, and we must all respect being entrusted to safely hire and utilize these youth at our resorts now that the bill is signed.  
Thank you to our Lobbyist Joel Carlson and our friend Senator Carrie Ruud for your guidance and support through this process. Also, our thanks to the Department of Labor and Industry for recognizing that these youth can become an even more valuable part of the work force at resorts by accomplishing these landscaping tasks. As we stated some time ago, our efforts and discussions with the representatives of the Department of Labor and Industry was the correct approach and an excellent example of business and government working together to achieve a mutually beneficial solution to issues that face us.


I am so grateful for the CMR, our presence at the Capitol, and Joel Carlson as our lobbyist.

Our resort is located on Big Sand Lake in Park Rapids. There is only one public access, which means our own guests continually use it.  The DNR had made plans to renovate this sole public access, which forecast a closing of the access for 6-8 weeks in the middle of the summer. Our resort’s lakeshore does not have the capability to have a boat launch for pontoons or large boats. The closure of this public access would greatly affect our guests and our business. Once we heard about these plans, we talked with DNR about the impact on our business. No changes were indicated. Then we asked for help from our senators and representatives, which helped to get a constructive conversation going with the DNR. The final push came from our very own CMR lobbyist, Joel Carlson, who I contacted and asked for help. He connected with Bob Meier, who is the MN DNR Assistant Commissioner. Through these contacts, our voice was heard. The DNR has announced that they will do the project in different phases – keeping the access open in the summer – and only closing the ramp for short periods of time in the late fall and early spring 2022. We are so happy that the DNR came to a creative solution that is good for businesses and lake residents alike!

I have had the opportunity to go to the annual CMR event Day on the Hill. Our presence does make an impact. Little did I know then that our business would greatly benefit from these contacts. We encourage your participation in CMR Day on the Hill, you never know when you might need a helping hand! 
   ——   Bonnie and Jeff Brand, Pine Cone Lodge



Day On the Hill

In 2019, we got a fantastic opportunity to discuss some of the issues facing resorts with Governor Walz.  We appreciate the time the governor took to visit with us, share some of his vision, and hear those items important to us as resorters.  We want to take this opportunity to thank those who participated in Day On The Hill last year, and encourage all resorts from across the state to join us on February 25th and 26 2020!


Legislative Benefits of CMR

In the last decade, the CMR has made lasting impressions on legislators.   (They’ve been known to hang onto our hats, sunglasses, bobbers, and other gimmicks we’ve given them over the years as token reminders of how vital resorts are in Minnesota’s tourism industry).   We are remembered!

Our lobbyist, Joel Carlson, has very astutely represented us since 1997, and we feel very appreciative of his wisdom and mentorship through lawmaking waters.

MN Governor Tim Pawlenty meeting with CMR members to discuss resort issues“I was amazed by the quick response of Joel and the CMR in getting the House and Senate to rethink their position on the law regarding Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) regulations in early 2015. (Sticker requirement on all trailers via on-line DNR class and fee.)    “Education, not enforcement!”  

 While none of us want to see the spread of AIS, we need to approach the problem in a way that won’t result in a negative impact on tourism.  We are confident this law will be getting “tweaked” or repealed altogether this session after numerous meetings with legislators during our CMR Day on the Hill, Feb 4-5, 2015.  Without a group like the CMR and a lobbyist like Joel Carlson, it would be difficult to stand together as a group and have our voices heard loud and clear.”   

                                                                                    – Bob Schimerowski, Minnesota’s Sunset Shores Resort

2020 – Lobbied and worked directly with the Department of Labor and Industry to include resorts in the passage of SF 3358 to allow youth ages 16 & 17 to successfully operate “lawn care equipment” meaning lawn trimmers, weed cutters, and machines (riding and walk behind mowers) designed to cut grass and weeds that meet safety specifications.

2017 – Lobbied successfully to eliminate a duplicate minnow licensing regulation specifically for resort owners.  CMR collaborated directly w/ DNR.

2017 – Lobbied successfully to support more funding for Explore Minnesota Tourism – directly resulting in advertising collaborations. CMR members have benefitted from this effort by co-op advertising via TV commercials and web banner ads.

2014 – CMR was invited by Minnesota Department of Health to collaborate on regulation language going into effect 2016 regarding a nationwide mandate for seasonal well water systems testing to be done monthly.

2008 – Successfully lobbied for further reductions in resort property taxes – a program initiated by the CMR in 2003.

2007 – CMR lobbied successfully for a standardized law on Statewide Shoreland Regulations for resorts. We are now able to replace existing cabins within lake setback zones. Prior to enacting this law, resorts were unable to upgrade cabins – or make any improvements to cabins located within the setback zone without securing a variance.  Several CMR members dedicated their personal time/energy over months to advise in DNR meetings on this law.

2005 – CMR lobbied and successfully help pass a bill allowing homestead exemption for LLC resorts.

2005 – CMR successfully lobbied the legislature and the Governor to pass and sign into law a Post–Labor Day school start. Several CMR members testified in a hearing at the capitol – and we battle every session to retain this law!

     CMR members meeting with their area representative (Matt Grossell Park Rapids area)“I became a member of the CMR for the educational aspects, really.  Legislative issues were NOT on my radar.  However, I began to take notice when we started getting a homestead tax credit on our property taxes.  (Prior to 2005, any resort designated as an L.L.C. was not eligible.) The CMR had chosen this as one of their key issues and got the bill passed.   Yeah!    

      (I spoke to my assessor.  She said it varies every year with so many levels of calculations, but bottom line for this particular year {2015}:  our resort is saving about $7,000 directly due to this credit.  Holy cow!  Enough to pay for several years of membership to CMR, right?) 

      I sincerely appreciate all the efforts the CMR has made on my resort’s behalf, and highly recommend ANY resort to join our organization, if only to support legislative efforts.” 

                                              — Kim Bowen, Crow Wing Crest Lodge

As a CMR member, how can you support the legislative effort?

Just BE a member.  Your annual dues help fund our lobbyist’s salary.

Attend Fall Conference and participate in the Silent Auction (either by donating and/or bidding on items).  All funds go towards ‘Day on the Hill’ events.

Attend ‘Day on the Hill’ typically held in February or March.  25 – 50 of us attend this two-day event, which offers free bus transportation (voted ‘the most fun part of the trip!” by members) to the state capitol where we talk with legislators directly.

Contact resort colleagues who are on the current CMR Legislative Committee and suggest topics, ideas or comments on issues directly affecting your resort.

Community of Minnesota Resorts members touring capitol in St. Paul“Our business is a seasonal one (14 weeks). Because of this – every, single week of our season is important to make sure we can keep our business healthy and thriving!

 Families who know they don’t have to get back to school and routines until after Labor Day love to end their summer with some family time at the lake. Also, we lose many families each summer to the pull of school/activity schedules cutting into the summer months.

 Post Labor Day school start dates are imperative in helping us fill the last weeks of August (almost 1/7th of our entire season). “

            — Jamie Keller, Brookside Resort