Why people are moving to Alexandria

Experts say the top two reasons people move to a new town are 1) to improve their quality of life and 2) to be closer to family. It turns out, those are also the biggest reasons people are moving to Alexandria.

With hundreds of lakes, miles and miles of lakeshore, and all the amenities of a world-class vacation destination, it’s not surprising people are drawn to the Alexandria area. Thousands of tourists come every year—but here are stories of a few people who’ve decided to make it their home.

Courtney: Escaping the hustle to focus on life

Courtney Childers and her husband moved back to Alexandria to spend less time in traffic and more time enjoying life.

“My husband and I both agreed that the lifestyle we were living in Edina was too crazy,” she says, “so we started looking to be back in Alexandria.” Now Courtney is co-owner of a thriving design business, McCarten Design, and she’s building the career she wants while living the lifestyle she loves. “This town is seriously great,” she says.

Dr. Nesvik: Working where you can also play

After 14 years away, Dr. Jazmine Nesvik moved back to Alexandria with her husband and toddler to work as a doctor of dermatology at Alomere Health. She’d always planned to return to her hometown and serve the area as a physician, and she says the opportunity to snowboard, ride bikes, and enjoy the lakes was a big part of her decision.

“Snowboarding and being on the lake are two of the reasons we moved back. Those are two things we’re passionate about,” she says. “Plus, down in Missouri they don’t have protected trails like they do in Minnesota. I missed that a ton.”

Kelly: A supportive community, surrounded by beauty

For high school teacher Kelly Hillbrands, moving back to Alexandria was about being able to teach in a cutting-edge high school where she can make a real difference in students’ lives—with solid support from the community.

“The community here is the number one thing that pulled me back,” she says, “besides the lakes, of course. I don’t even live on the lakes, but I appreciate them, and I appreciate nature. And knowing that I can teach in an area where the community is going to support what I’m doing and support my kids, that’s so important.”

Rob: Being near family while building a career

Rob Thompson is a lifelong Alexandria area resident, and two of his four grown kids have chosen to raise their families in town as well—even buying houses on the same street as he and his wife. As a developer in the area, this is a trend he’s seeing more of.

“My oldest daughter bought the house next door to us. Her husband works for me at C.I. Construction, and she works remotely for a pharmaceutical company in San Francisco. She’s a great example of someone that can work remotely from Alexandria…. I think you’re gonna see a transition in the coming years of more and more younger people opting to move back to communities like Alexandria. The fact that Alexandria has all the natural lakes and activities is just a huge, huge benefit to the whole area.”

Sam: An amazing community with something for everyone

Sam Herzog and his wife moved to Alexandria with their kids to help start a new church while also growing the development company Sam co-owns, called Unique Opportunities. They quickly fell in love with the community.

“Both my wife and I would say without a doubt the past 18 months in Alexandria have been the best months of our life,” Sam said, shortly after moving to town. “From a business perspective, the business has gone incredibly well. We are able to hire better employees in Alexandria. We have more community support. The community engagement from business owners is unlike anything I’ve seen anywhere in Minnesota.”

“I don’t think a single person would move to Alexandria and regret it,” he says. “When I’m talking to friends that aren’t local, I always put a little plug in: ‘You know, if you ever want to live somewhere great, come to Alexandria!’”

Mandy: The kind of values people want

Mandy Brower moved her family and her boutique, The Dashery, to town after experiencing the unique quality of life in the area. “Alex really embodied that feeling that I was looking for—the sense of community where everyone’s connected somehow and supportive of one another,” she says.

“I feel like a lot of people that are coming from the metro and different areas are moving here because they want that small town feel but not like the small town drama. You just don’t have that here, not that I’ve seen. It’s very supportive. And I think the values of our community just align with Greater Minnesota values of ‘Hey, we work hard, we help each other, and we do what’s right.’”

If you haven’t already discovered for yourself what’s to love about the Alexandria area, ask anyone who lives there—or visit livingalexarea.org.

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