Checking out the Hangar co-working space
The open house offers local businesses and others a look at a space designed to accommodate remote workers.
The Heartland Lakes Development Commission (HLDC) held an open house Monday at its new co-working space, known as the Hangar.
Located at the corner of 8th Street and Park Avenue in the old municipal liquor store building, the Hangar is a concept that recognizes the growing number of people who work remotely.
“We have had a lot of the local business owners coming in and checking out the space, because a lot of their customers come in and ask,” said Mary Thompson, executive director of the HLDC. “We’ve been open a little bit, and one of the things we’ve been finding is that the space is kind of a new concept for northern Minnesota.
“Folks who come up here and visit are very familiar with cooperative working spaces, but the residents are a little bit less aware. We’re trying to have a lot of engagement, so people can come and see the space, understand what the space is, and be able to take advantage of it.”
Since the Hangar opened, Thompson said, Rural Minnesota Concentrated Employment Program has used space there to see clients, and other groups have used the conference room for evening work or gatherings outside normal business hours.
“It provides a lot of convenience to the users,” said Thompson.
Tom Conway, a Park Rapids City Council member who also chairs the HLDC board, pointed out that the conference room also has a large screen for remote meetings.
“The advantage to this place is” Conway said, “you can draw people from the Cities. You can draw people from Fargo or Chicago. You can sit at your lake cabin and do your job. If you do need facilities that you don’t have at home, whether it be a meeting room, whether it be a blueprint printer, you can come here and do it, and you don’t have to go all the way back to the Cities. So, it gives people more of an opportunity to be remote-office in the lakes region.”