A nonprofit organization aims to grow community recognition.
Greg Anzelc is fiercely passionate about Maple Grove. He’s been a Maple Grove resident for more than 20 years, and raised his family here and worked within the city. So serving on the founding board of—and eventually becoming the executive director of—Experience Maple Grove just made sense.
“As the city has grown over time, it’s been fun to watch it evolve,” Anzelc says.
It’s that growth—among other enduring qualities—that he hopes to introduce others to, across the state, region and the country. As executive director of Experience Maple Grove, Anzelc is working to market the city’s profile to attract meetings, events and conventions that drive economic impact.
“We’re right on the freeway, and we don’t want to be a drive-by community for people heading to their cabins and what not,” Anzelc says. “We want to talk about who we are and what we have to offer.”
Experience Maple Grove is a nonprofit destination marketing organization established in 2021. Anzelc came onboard the nonprofit organization prior to its inception two years ago. “I was one of the original founding board members once the city decided to create the organization … It’s been fun to be involved from inception, and now it’s an honor and privilege to lead it,” Anzelc says.
Experience Maple Grove is funded by the city’s hotel tax and works much like a chamber of commerce but without memberships. The goal is to showcase all the city has to offer. “One of our core initiatives is to support existing events and attractions in Maple Grove,” Anzelc says. “[And] to help [events] grow and reach a broader audience.”
Promoting local events makes Maple Grove a more attractive destination for tourists and residents alike—when it comes time to find a location for events, expos and meetings, bringing visitors in to enjoy the city’s many amenities provides a positive economic impact.
“We are exploring any and all options to bring events to Maple Grove that will help not only make Maple Grove a great place to live and work, but events that allow people to spend the night and really experience Maple Grove over a weekend,” Anzelc says.
Once people find their way to Maple Grove, Anzelc knows the city will shine. “The amenities in the community are great. We have every size and shape of shopping, dining and activity to fit virtually any type of lifestyle,” he says.
Anzelc says the city does a great job of entertaining throughout the year, from summer concerts and outdoor movies to Maple Grove Days and Wonders of Winter. “Really it’s to help to promote and expand [events],” he says.
Experience Maple Grove is guided by a board of directors representing local stakeholders, businesses and organizations. The board recently went through its strategic planning process. Among its first orders of business now will be to create a sense of place and help with wayfinding.
“Really, the goal is [for] people to wake up in the morning [and] think about coming to Maple Grove to shop, dine, stay and play,” Anzelc says.