CivicBrand Trip #3

January 23, 2018

CivicBrand made their third trip to the Park Rapids Lakes Area and brought the warm weather with them! Seeing the residents brave temperatures that, just a few days before arriving, were sub-zero gave a whole new meaning to the brand principle “strong and proud residents”. Every trip we learn more about this amazing community and the people within it.

Watch a brief recap of our latest trip below….

 

 

COMMUNITY MEETINGS

The week started off gathering community leaders and business owners at the Park Rapids Downtown Business Association Annual Meeting. Groups started the meeting off collaborating on a vision for the future of Park Rapids and CivicBrand gave a presentation on what branding looks like for the community. Founder of CivicBrand, Ryan Short, reiterated that a community brand goes far beyond just a logo or tagline, but is something already deeply engrained within the area.

INTERVIEWS

A major focus for this trip was to conduct interviews with key stakeholders within the community and listen to what they believe makes the area great. We noted many recurring themes in the hurdles that employers face in the area, as well as ways to further unite the community beyond simply Park Rapids.

BLACK SWAN COOPERAGE

The CivicBrand team got an inside look at Black Swan Cooperage and all the ways they are making history. Owner, Heidi Korb, is currently the only female cooperage owner in the world. We talked with her about business, life in the area, and what brought her into the industry. Hearing the many ways female business owners are excelling in the area gave us another reason to love this supportive and ambitious community!

ICE FISHING – FISH HOOK LAKE

The team headed out to The Patriot House on Fish Hook Lake and caught a few Perch and one Northern Pike in our first ice fishing experience. We chatted with Hendri Ernst, owner of Smokey Hills Outdoor Store, about the ice fishing culture and people that frequent his business.

ITASCA LEATHER GOODS

We stopped by Itasca Leather Goods in Lake George to talk with, owner, Paul Kirkman about what makes his business unique. He described that all products are handmade with a durability that can only come from precision and expertise. We learned a little more about what makes Lake George different from the surrounding areas, and how an overall brand would help to unite the communities.

SNOWSHOEING & CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING – SOARING EAGLE TRAILS

Our gracious host, Deane Johnson, took us out to the snowy scenery at Soaring Eagle Trails. We started the evening off using snowshoes to explore the woods, and ended the day with a sunset as we skied back from the trails.

BOLTON BEES

This was our second time interviewing the Boltons, the first being this past Summer where we met at 2nd Street Stage. We were able to see where the hives are kept for the winter and discussed all the ways their business has been rapidly growing.

MENAHGA FAMILY FISHING DERBY

We stopped by the Menahga Family Fishing Derby and spoke with residents and families that entered to win the grand prize for the 3rd largest fish.

TERRAPIN STATION

We were able to speak with Brian Skinness from Terrapin Station about the art culture in the area. His space alone provides a place for musicians, artists, therapists, and creatives.

USXC SNOWMOBILE RACE – PARK RAPIDS 106 – PRO STOCK RACE

Our last day there we made our way out to the USXC Snowmobile Race and spoke with those helping coordinate the race. We also had the opportunity to skate on the frozen lake, and the hockey enthusiasts on our team loved every bit of it!