Community Profiles

The Perfect Mix

Crow Wing County sits in the heart of Minnesota, about 130 miles north of Minneapolis/St. Paul. With a growing population and a stable workforce of young families and homeowners, the region offers an ideal environment to start, expand or grow a business.

Strong active communities serving 3 hubs

BLAEDC is focused on creating jobs through business growth in three economic development “neighborhoods,” each of which has specific economic stregths and unique features. By combing all those valuable resources into one overall economid development strategy, BLAEDC creats a win-win-win for all of Crow Wing County.

Economic Hubs
Cuyuna Lakes – Crosby, Cuyuna, Deerwood, Emily, Ironton, Riverton, Trommald
Lakes Region – Breezy Point, Crosslake, Fifty Lakes, Jenkins, Manhattan Beach, Nisswa, Pequot Lakes

Crow Wing County

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Brainerd/Baxter is a growing and active commercial base, with significant retail along the Washington Street and State Highway 371 corridors. With the Mississippi River running right through the center of town, Brainerd has a rich history involving the railroad, logging and paper milling. The Burlington Northern/Sante Fe Railroad still operates a yard near Brainerd’s downtown, which recently underwent a revitalization. Many recreational opportunities exist here, with hundreds of nearby lakes, the Northland Arboretum, the trailhead for the 100-mile Paul Bunyan State Trail and much more.

Cuyuna Lakes

The 5,000-acre Cuyuna State Recreation Area is the heart and soul of the Cuyuna Lakes area. This area is a recreational paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, mainly because of the 27 crystal clear mine pits that offer sensational scuba diving, fishing, kayaking, and other recreational opportunities. In addition to the mine pits, the area has a paved bike trail and is home to a new nationally recognized mountain bike trail. Outdoor recreation became a signifiant economic engine in this area after the iron ore mines closed several decades ago and continues to be an important part of the communities’ heritage. Downtown Crosby is regarded as the “Antique Capital of the Lakes Area” as antique shops line Main Street.

Lakes Region

The Lakes Region encompasses the Whitefish Chain of Lakes and Pelican Lake, two of the premium lake systems in the Brainerd Lakes Area. The communities in this hub are smaller and rely heavily on seasonal tourism traffic, either by offering services that visitors or seasonal residents need, or with unique and distinctive shopping opportunities. Small resorts and campgrounds dot the shoreline of area lakes, which provide excellent recreation and fishing. Nisswa has a renowned shopping destination and Pequot Lakes, with an industrial park, offers retail stores and has a strong employment base with several major employers in the area.

Profile Updated Annually

Last Updated: January 2019