A Benton County bar that displays Confederate paraphernalia has been delisted — again — from Explore Minnesota, the state’s official tourism website.
Rollie’s Rednecks and Longnecks in Sauk Rapids had been removed from the site’s listings after area residents objected to its displays of Confederate flags, posters and signs. After a review, officials of Visit Greater St. Cloud, the area’s tourism promotion agency, restored the listing, saying the displays didn’t violate any of its policies.
But on Wednesday, after further objections from the community, they took down the listing from the state website as well as from their own, pledging to “learn, adapt and grow” from the criticism.
“We hear you. We understand. And we’re committed to doing better,” Visit Greater St. Cloud said in a statement. “As an organization that promotes travel, tourism and events in a diverse community, we understand the importance of addressing and eliminating hate, prejudice and racism wherever it may occur.
“Now more than ever, Visit Greater St. Cloud is focused on promoting all of the good, positive things to do in our area, and we strive to keep Greater St. Cloud a fun, easy, safe place to visit. We will continue to learn, adapt and grow, and we hope you can join us on that journey.”
Roland Hogrefe, the bar’s owner, was convicted of a felony in 2011 after running down a black man with his truck on a St. Cloud street.