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Float-Rite concert site sold

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Despite hosting Country Splash 2010 in June, Terry Montpetit, owner of the Float-Rite Concert Site in Somerset, declared bankruptcy in late May just before the property was put up for auction.

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Matt Mithun, of Orono, Minn., purchased the 57.57 acres last week. He is involved in commercial real estate and music festival production. His family owns the Soo Pass Ranch in Detroit Lakes, Minn. that is home to the WE Fest Country Music Festival.

Mithun has been involved with the Soo Pass Ranch property for the past 10 years. He said he attended shows at the Float-Rite site before and heard about the auction through a work colleague.

"The Village of Somerset is a unique and wonderful place, a great summer spot," Mithun said. "With the Apple River right here, and its proximity to the St. Croix and Stillwater, it lends itself to being a hub for summer activities: Tubing, camping concerts and festivals."

"I see a lot of potential in the amphitheater and am very excited to bring in some shows and festivals that the fans and villagers will enjoy," Mithun continued.

Because Mithun just moved his family to Orono four months ago, he plans to hire management personnel to oversee the Float-Rite Concert site - as it will continue to be called.

At present, he said that he has no plans to continue hosting Country Splash since his business is not affiliated with the event. Whether or not he plans to partner with the WE Fest promoters also remains to be seen.

"We are currently in the planning stages, so unfortunately I cannot share any detail about future festivals at the moment," Mithun said.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle Mithun faces is to mend fences between the concert venue and the local community. The former owner has yet to pay the Village of Somerset, Somerset Fire/Rescue Department and other organizations that helped with prior Country Splash events.

"I know that is very poignant to the people of Somerset," Mithun responded. "We are excited to work with the police and fire departments and the broader village. We understand that we need to build trust, and we have every intention of doing just that.

"We want to do this right, and we need Somerset's cooperation and blessing to do that," Mithun concluded. "We look forward to forming a strong alliance and mutually enjoying the potential of the amphitheater."

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