Olde Mistick Village has been charming tourists for 50 years
Family-owned shopping area celebrates 50 fun-filled years
Mystic, Conn. (July 10, 2023) – Olde Mistick Village is not your average shopping center.
Constructed by local builders 50 years ago, with rarely a chain store among its 51 distinctive shops, the village is a major tourist attraction as well as a huge community asset.
This community gem will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary on Tuesday, Sept. 12. There will be a three-day celebration planned for the weekend prior, on Friday, Sept. 8; Saturday, Sept. 9; and Sunday, Sept. 10, during “A Taste of Mystic.”
“Olde Mistick Village is a very unique place, in that it has a church, a meeting house, and a green on the property,” said Chris Regan, manager of the property, located in picturesque Mystic, Connecticut, named recently as a Top 5 summer destination by USA Today. So picturesque is OMV, the village will be the backdrop of an upcoming Hallmark holiday movie.
Special events at the venue draw tourists, and locals, in droves. There’s the “Bring Out Your Breath Mints,” Garlic Fest. The “Everything Fall,” Apple Fest. The “Bright Lights Magical Nights,” Holiday Lights Spectacular, and the luminaria studded “Festival of Lights.” A “Winter Wonderland” celebration during Ice in the Village. There’s all that and much more.
Olde Mistick Village is home to unique shops, a high percentage of which are women-owned. From handcrafted gifts, high-fashion jewelry, Mystic souvenirs, unparalleled restaurants, and niche specialty shops, there is something for everyone and items you won’t find anywhere else.
Regan’s mother, Joyce Olson Resnikoff, who along with her father Martin Olson, founded the venue, said the strong sense of community is what makes it special.
“It’s a unique and magical place,” said Resnikoff, of the venue designed to resemble an old village, boasting a duck pond, a gazebo, and an old church. “There is a strong sense of community here.”
Also, every Valentine’s Day, couples are invited to the chapel to get married or renew their vows for free. The quaint 40-store shopping area is nearly always at 100 percent capacity.
Resnikoff and her late brother Jerry Olson began managing the tourism venue in 1973. It was a difficult time in the workplace for women back then because women couldn’t get a loan without a male co-signer.
In the 1970s, Resnikoff was the only woman serving on the board of the southeastern Chamber of Commerce and the only woman on the board of the Bank of Mystic.