In May of 2013, northern Minnesota communities recorded the latest lake ice-out dates in more than sixty years ("Lake ice complicates Minn. Governor's Fishing Opener"). With more than 18 inches of ice on some of the larger northern lakes, there were serious complications to the regularly scheduled Governor's fishing opener ("Up North, resorts see revenues going south"). Each year this event is treated like a holiday of sorts by Anglers from across the state. Typically, this celebratory weekend draws thousands of Minnesotans out of their homes and onto the shores of the states famed ten thousand lakes ("Lake ice complicates Minn. Governor's Fishing Opener").
In the state of Minnesota, it is estimated that travel and tourism generate nearly 11.9 billion dollars in gross sales on average each year. A large portion of which is generated during the spring and summer months ("Tourism and Minnesota's Economy"). This critical sector of the state's economy also employs nearly 240,000 individuals, representing nearly 11 percent of private sector employment in total ("Brainerd Lakes Area to Host 2014 Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener"). The fishing opener is perceived as the start of this season of tourism amongst local communities, resort owners, and outfitters alike who rely on this event to kick start sales after the long slow winter months.
As a consequence of the late lake ice-out, many Minnesotans chose to forego the 2013 opener. Cancellations and reservation shifts plagued resort owners in the northern region of the state, who were then forced to either refund or reschedule Angler's lodging reservations ("Up North, resorts see revenues going south"). This marks a significant departure from the norm for resort owners, who typically fully book their lodging facilities and campgrounds. In addition to the impacts felt by local communities, the state of Minnesota also suffered a major early season loss ("Icy lakes put chill on business for walleye opener"). In total, only 257,665 fishing licenses were sold in preparation to the 2013 opener, a stark contrast to the 413,000 sold in 2012 ("Fishing Opener was a bust, but it'll get better"). Although the total revenue lost from this event has yet to be calculated, it can be reasonably assumed that the impacts were both widespread and significant, especially in northern regions of the state.