By Esme Murphy

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The most popular new attraction at the 2013 Minnesota State Fair?

It could be the $2 million restrooms just off Carnes Avenue, down the street from the WCCO booth and across from the Grand Stand.

Some asked if the price tag was because the toilets were gold — but the cost reflects tearing down the old facilities, building the new one and an overhaul of turn-of-the-century underground plumbing.

It’s just days away from being fully operational.

State Fair marketing manager Brienna Schuette said the new restrooms are a response to public demand

“The two things people always want at the fair are a place to sit and a restroom,” Schuette said.

The design of the new building is also in direct response to fair feedback.

“The women’s line is always longer than the men’s,” Schuette said. “This year there are double the number of women’s stalls than there were last year in this new building versus the old building.”

Schuette said the initial price tag for the building was $1.2 million, but rose to $2 million because of unexpected plumbing issues.

“The fairgrounds have been here for a really long time,” Schuette said. “They have been in this location since 1885 and once you start digging and getting into construction projects, we always find things we didn’t expect.”

The new facilities are directly across from Cafe Caribe.

“I think it’s great for the fair,” Caribe owner Adam Chesin said. “It’s aesthetically pleasing.”

The new restroom building also offers something else that is bound to be very popular – it will feature four family restrooms. The old facility had none of those.

Public money won’t pay for the new restrooms — the fair is footing the bill.


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