It’s all about the trust: Minnesota waterpark aims to rebuild public trust after crypto outbreak

The Edgewater Hotel in Duluth, Minn., a popular spot for Thunder Bay travelers, lost a quarter of its business after water park visitors fell ill in March.

CBC News reports the outbreak was linked to cryptosporidium, a parasite that can be passed by humans.

The hotel’s general manager, Jesse Hinkemeyer, said rebuilding public trust is a priority.

“That’s what it’s all about,” Hinkmeyer said.

“It’s a trust issue and that’s why we have been so forthcoming. And we want to be as transparent as we can.”

Hinkemeyer said the hotel is now installing an ultraviolet treatment system for the water park. It’s supposed to be 99.9 per cent effective against the parasite. When water is filtered through the UV system, it renders any harmful substances harmless. Hinkemeyer noted that cryptosporidium can’t be eliminated 100 per cent.

Trisha Robinson, an epidemiologist with the state of Minnesota, said “crypto outbreaks are fairly common. Minnesota health officials say there [is] an average of 250 to 300 cases a year. [But] the vast majority are not affected by an outbreak."

As for the outbreak of cryptosporidiosis associated with a waterpark in Duluth, she said they have a case count of 97 people who became ill — including 22 who have had a laboratory-confirmed case of cryptosporidium. The individuals who became sick resided in Ontario, Minnesota and Wisconsin.