CivicBrand Trip #2

October 6, 2017

CivicBrand made their second trip to the Park Rapids Lakes Area with the following goals: to engage with stakeholders from other communities that make up the greater Park Rapids Lakes Area, to meet with large employers to discuss hiring and recruiting challenges, and to experience the fall color and activities the area has to offer.

Check out the recap video and read the full post below…


The Community Branding steering teams knows the very important role that other towns play in making the Park Rapids Lake Area what it is. It’s not just about Park Rapids proper. Therefore, the CivicBrand team met with stakeholders from Dorset, Nevis and Akeley to discuss their specific goals, challenges and needs. A key discussion and take away was the idea that, regardless of whether or not we identify with the term “Park Rapids Lakes Area”, we all agree that the community is stronger together and that a brand platform that represents us all, and has buy in from all, will benefit us all.


We then met with large employers, which was coordinated by David Collins, the Executive Director of Hubbard County Economic Development. Our presentation highlighted how a community brand platform and implementation strategy can benefit employers by giving them the tools to more easily recruit and retain quality job candidates to the area. Following the presentation, there was a great discussion and sharing of ideas, and all of the attendees seemed very excited about the project and opportunity it presents.


The team also went on a 3 mile hike led by Florence & Carter Hedeen. We hiked the Waboose Lake Loop and part of the North Country Trail, and learned about the significance of the trail system and all of the hard work and countless volunteer hours required to maintain the trails. In addition, we discussed the importance of the outdoors to the Park Rapids Lakes Area and how it is critical that nature lovers, hunters, motor sports enthusiasts and conservationists all work together to continue enjoying and benefitting from the same land.


Park Rapids Aviation, at the Park Rapids Municipal Airport, took the CivicBrand team on a ride in a float plane. The team was able to see the fall colors from the air and even land on a lake! We learned what a great asset the municipal airport is to the community.


Having toured Itasca State Park in the summer, our team returned to Itasca to get the fall color experience. Climbing the fire tower and seeing the amazing views and headwaters in the fall is a completely different experience in the fall shoulder season than in the summer.


Greg Poncelet from Smokey Hills Outdoor Store took us ATV riding through the Paul Bunyan Forest and to lunch at the Stompin’ Grounds. The team was able to get muddy and experience the ATV / snowmobile culture and the role it plays in the community.


We cheered on cyclists as they hit the Heartland Trail for the 37th Annual Headwaters 100 cycling event.


We stopped by an Art Leap location where artists showed us their craft, and learned about the importance the art community in the Park Rapids Lakes Area holds in engaging both visitors and residents alike.


We visited the Forest Edge Winery in Laporte, MN and enjoyed a tasting and tour of the winery. As the only winery within 100 miles, Forest Edge is a great asset to the community, where visitors and residents get to kick back and enjoy some award-winning wine.


Hunting and shooting sports are a major draw to the area, especially in the fall shoulder seasons. The team experienced archery with a training and 3D range session by Jared Hoefs of Smokey Hills Outdoor Store. After archery, we went trap shooting with students and coaches from the Park Rapids Trap Shooting team.