Editor’s Note: This is the seventh and final part of a collection of feature stories examining what COVID left behind, and highlighting the ongoing regional economic development that will forge a new path forward.
The population of the Brainerd lakes region triples during warm, summer months.
People flock to the area for the resorts, lakes and outdoor recreational opportunities – all of which make up the region’s hospitality industry, which plays a major economic role in the community. The onset of the pandemic last year challenged this industry, but a strong small-business community and a growing population helped the region maintain economic stability, local leaders said.
“The shutdowns were real. But when you look across the region itself, with the amount of employees that we have in the manufacturing industry and in the food industry, you didn’t feel it…