Two fantastic benefits immediately came to mind when I heard about the bike trail from Perham to Pelican, tourism and alternate (or in some cases only) transportation. Both offer a great benefit to our cities, county and state.

I remember my first real job. I was 15 years old and rode my bike from the west side of Paul Lake into Perham on County 34 to trim pine trees for Sherman Mandt. We were a one-car family and Dad was working out of town, so biking was my only option if I wanted to work. The new bike trail would open a safe commute for many, maybe not as an only option, but as a nice alternate transportation option as well.

The other benefit that immediately came to mind was tourism. More and more families are taking destination vacations to enjoy the outdoors and by adding a bike trail we attract another segment of people we currently miss. There are numerous statistics about how much revenue cyclists generate in sales in the local communities they visit, the numbers are significant and would be very beneficial to our local economy.

Besides these, there are many other benefits associated with bike trails including the health benefits for users and even increased property values for properties along the route. Because of the benefits, I support the Perham to Pelican trail. If we don’t use the dollars, someone else will!

Kevin Keil

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City of Perham Economic Development Director