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Viking cruise port could be smart tourism draw

To the editor,

I read in last week’s paper that a candidate for city council thought that turning Lake Rebecca into a marina would be a possible improvement to our city. I have heard that idea mentioned in the past and I always felt that not much consideration about the expense of such an endeavor was taken into account. To dredge a channel to the river and then build a bridge over it that would be high enough to allow boat passage under it during high water conditions would cost millions of dollars. If one truly thought that offering more boat dockage could bring more wealthy boat owners to the downtown area, then perhaps it would make more sense to consider dredging and expanding the marina we have on the east side of town. The distance is not that much greater.

In my mind, if funds were spent on the riverfront to capture revenue from boating tourists, I would look into the fact that next season Viking cruise lines will be operating on the Mississippi. If an improved and safe docking area along the riverfront could be created and the cruise line enticed to make this a port of call, the financial payback could be quicker.