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Hundreds of WE Festers flock to DL Community Center for showers

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news Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Many local residents of Detroit Lakes and surrounding areas have grown to expect increased road traffic during WE Fest, but the annual influx of concert attendees also has a dramatic effect on the traffic in the locker rooms of the Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center.

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“We’ll probably have anywhere from 1,100 to 1,300 people during WE Fest,” said Terry Haus, development director for the DLCCC. Admittance to use the facilities is $7, which means WE Fest visitors bring in $8,000 to $9,000 a year.

The $7 fee permits access to the showers and also includes the ability to use other fitness areas of the DLCCC. Visitors take advantage of the pool and hot tub, with “the vast majority coming in to shower,” Haus said. According to Haus, Thursday and Friday are often the busiest, and most people come in between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. “What’ll affect it is the weather,” he added.

Notice of the available showers spreads by word of mouth, advertisement on the concert grounds, and in the WE Fest booklet. “Over the course of the years there’s a lot of return traffic,” Haus said of the music festival regulars coming to freshen up at the DLCCC each summer. While Haus said that some local users of the facility might be initially surprised by the numbers that fill the DLCCC during WE Fest, “they (regular members) work around it.” He also said that area members of the Community Center have been courteous in the past while maneuvering through the busy areas.

Some fitness instructors have made the decision to cancel regularly scheduled classes during WE Fest, including morning aquatics sessions on Thursday and Friday. With so many people coming in to use the showers, Haus said that a system has been developed over the years to control the flow of traffic.

“We try to transition them from the locker room to other areas,” he said of the various stations that will be set up, including space to charge phones, dry hair, and apply makeup. One of the few problems that seem to arise from this system is the occasional blown fuse, which Haus addressed as a quick fix.

“We prep quite a bit beforehand,” Haus said. Additional staff will be on hand to ensure things run as smoothly as possible. “We still want to have a clean facility,” he added. “It’s one of our top priorities.” Even if the locker rooms will be noticeably busier, Haus noted that few WE Fest attendees actually utilize the exercise equipment.

“We’re still open to everyone in the community,” he said, encouraging regulars to continue utilizing the fitness spaces, and parents to bring their kids in to enjoy the resources offered by the Community Center during WE Fest. For questions about class cancellation and programs offered by the DLCCC, visit dlccc.org or call 218-844-4221.

Libby Larson | DL-Online

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