Community & History
Bemidji, the first city on the Mississippi River, offers a relaxed, small town atmosphere with the amenities of a big city. Located in north central Minnesota, Bemidji is situated at the intersection of US Highway 71 and US Highway 2, approximately 230 miles northwest of the Minneapolis / St. Paul metropolitan area. The county seat of Beltrami County, an estimated 250,000 residents live within 75 miles of the community. Bemidji is the regional hub for educational services, healthcare, retail shopping, transportation, finance and governmental services. It is also serves as the central hub for the Red Lake, White Earth and the Leech Lake Indian Reservation.
Bemidji is located near many popular recreational destinations, including Itasca State Park, Lake Bemidji State Park, state forest areas, and the Chippewa National Forest. There are 400 fishing lakes within 25 miles of the city, and over 500 miles of snowmobile trails and 160 kilometers of cross-country ski trails are located in and around Bemidji. During the summer, more than 25,000 visitors per month stop to take photographs at the iconic statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. In Bemidji you can enjoy limitless year round outdoor recreation, making it one of Outdoor Living Magazine's “Top Towns.”
Sanford Health is the largest employer in the region with a stable and growing workforce of over 1,500 employees. Primarily a retail sales community, forestry, education, government services and the travel industry contribute greatly to its economy. Bemidji has 30 manufacturing establishments. The principal products include lumber, wood products, plywood, hardboard, machining, steel culverts, computer components, woolens, concrete blocks, garage doors, signs, printing plants, wood furnaces and fishing tackle. Its forest products business depends largely on pulpwood shipped out by rail. In addition, the Bemidji Regional Airport is one of the busiest regional airports in the state, handling nearly 30,000 passengers annually.
With one of the most dynamic and successful K-12 school systems in the state, Bemidji also serves as home to Bemidji State University, Northwest Technical College, Oak Hills Christian Collage and Concordia Language Village. Collectively, these schools represent an impressive array of educational talent in staff and students that help to create a collegiate feel in the community. The number of educational institutions also has a direct impact on the quality of life in the Bemidji area, especially when it comes to collegiate sports, concerts, theater performances and art galleries.
To learn more about how you can enjoy a rewarding professional career and a quality lifestyle in Bemidji, visit these area web sites.