In a majority of rural areas, the population count can linger around the mid to high hundreds, and sometimes even reaching the four digit mark. This means that you can drive to the next town over and most likely only encounter two or three stoplights- tops.
Locally, our numbers seem to double or triple during the summer, after all the Elk River is one of the most popular rivers in our area. These tourists that poor in by the bus loads during the summer can cause what locals would consider issues (the drive to the store may be an extra two minutes due to traffic), but there are so many beneficial ways to go about tourists season that not a lot of citizens take into account.
In simple words, tourism brings money to the local economy and even attracts a few real estate purchases here and there. What some would consider a headache is a life line for others. By encouraging tourism in our communities, we are creating jobs, revenue, and opportunities for education, which should not be taken lightly.
Utilize this opportunity, because there is not much you can do to stop it. Share our home and story with the world, and encourage them to love and protect it like we do year round.