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Economic impact of Minnesota Governor's Pheasant Hunting Opener

It was a successful weekend for local businesses.

Posted: Oct 14, 2019 5:36 PM

AUSTIN, Minn. - The Minnesota Governor's Pheasant Hunting Opener is over, but its impact is still being felt all throughout Austin.

The numbers are starting to come in, giving us a better idea of that impact.  According to Discover Austin, more than 450 people attended the banquet at the Holiday Inn. About 170 hunters took to the field and about 45 birds were harvested.

Mower County Administrator Trish Harren got to hunt with Governor Tim Walz.

"This weekend was a lifetime opportunity for me. I got to go hunting with the governor, I got to see him shoot his first pheasant," said Harren.

It wasn't just the governor spending the weekend in austin. Hundreds of others flocked to the town too.

"What an opportunity for us to be able to showcase this amazing place that we get to call home everyday," said Harren.

The Austin Holiday Inn served as a hub for a lot of the festivities.

"We had people that started arriving on Friday to register for the event. we had over 450 people at the banquet on Friday night. We were completely sold out on Friday night. We actually had a few people stay Saturday night as a well for all the extra events that we had in town," said Chelsey Lustig, General Manager of the Austin Holiday Inn.

But did the less than ideal weather keep people away?

"It was cold out, it was snowing, but in true Minnesota style, everybody was out," said Lustig.

It was an opportunity to put Austin on the map in a big way.

"Just to be able to share with our own community, and all those who came to participate in this hunt, all the amazing things we have. From great food, to great entertainment, but most importantly, just amazing hospitality," said Harren.

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