Winnebago Industries, which manufactures recreational vehicles, will shift its corporate headquarters from Forest City, Iowa, to Eden Prairie effective Dec. 1.
The change will not affect where Winnebago employees are currently located, said company spokesman Sam Jefson. It is “simply an address change” for its corporate headquarters, Jefson added.
Winnebago’s executive offices have been located at 13200 Pioneer Trail since 2016. That space will become Winnebago’s corporate headquarters in December.
Winnebago established the executive offices after hiring Michael Happe as its president and CEO. The former head of Toro Co. lived in Eden Prairie before reportedly moving to Edina this summer.
There is no planned job loss due to the transition. Winnebago currently employs about 6,500 employees, with about 100 employees based at its Eden Prairie office.
Pat MulQueeny, the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce president, answered three questions posed by Eden Prairie Local News about the local impact of the move.
The following are his responses.
From an economic perspective, what does this mean for Eden Prairie?
MulQueeny: This is big for Eden Prairie.
When a company has its headquarters in Eden Prairie, you not only pick up those additional jobs but the added spending from both those employees and vendors.
Many businesses that work with the headquarters typically look to either have offices close to the headquarters or make trips to meet with them. This adds more dollars being spent into our local economy at restaurants, hotels, retail, and more.
Did the chamber or city have anything to do with helping sway Winnebago’s decision?
MulQueeny: Overall, there are specific reasons businesses chose the community they want to be in for their offices.
This can include how good the schools are, the overall appeal of the community from a quality of life perspective, and in many cases, the local business economy.
Eden Prairie has been a driver of the region and the state’s economy for years based on the economic impact our business community has.
Fortune 500 headquarters are here, regional offices, diverse businesses like manufacturing, high tech, professional services, and amenities like Eden Prairie Center and Flying Cloud Airport.
Additionally, the Eden Prairie Chamber and the city offices typically receive phone calls from businesses or their brokers who are looking at office space and want to get first-hand information from us on why Eden Prairie is the best place for their business.
We share much of the information that I listed previously. In addition, we can connect them with our local business leaders to help them understand how great Eden Prairie is for business expansion or relocation.
What does it say about the region’s economic health that another nationwide company is putting roots down here?
MulQueeny: It reinforces that Eden Prairie is a great place for businesses, and our economy continues to be strong.
Our location in the region with access to major highways, a regional business airport like Flying Cloud, and quick access to MSP and the major corporations here in the Twin Cities make Eden Prairie a top business location.
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