MARSHALL (KMHL) – While Minnesota bars and restaurants remain closed to customers, bars and restaurants in Sioux Falls will be fully open for business. Yesterday, the Sioux Falls City Council voted unanimously to remove all COVID-19 business restrictions in that city.

Tom Handeland owns the Hitching Post in Marshall, he says the governor’s shutdown is sending Minnesotans flocking across the border.

“Our whole neighborhood has been to South Dakota, some of them 3-4 times,” said Handeland. “I have a friend that owns the State Line Bar up by Gary [South Dakota], and they are booming and it’s right across the border.”

Handeland points out that it’s a lot of Minnesotans visiting those businesses. He says the same is true with North Dakota and Wisconsin as well.

Handeland also points out that if you look at the numbers of fatalities from COVID-19 in Minnesota – the overwhelming majority has been the elderly, living in nursing homes.

“If you take away the nursing home deaths, which has zero to do with my restaurant or any restaurant for that matter, they’re not going out, they’re living in a nursing home for a reason,” said Handeland. “So if you take those issues and those deaths out of it, there’s only like 150 people who have died in the whole state, he’d [Gov. Walz] be like a hero.”

Handeland adds that it’s not just bars and restaurants either.

He says Minnesotans are also going to South Dakota to shop and get their hair done as well – all money he points that could be going to help the Minnesota economy.