A celebration is underway at the newly expanded AAA Minneapolis branch in Eden Prairie, located across from the Hennepin County Library.
What used to be just a small travel office is now three times bigger. It offers a majority of AAA services Eden Prairie residents found before only at its St. Louis Park headquarters.
The re-opened facility at 561 Prairie Center Drive now has a larger retail area with more travel and insurance people. In addition, there is an area designated for hosting events associated with travel and other activities. The site offers senior driving and novice driver-ed classes. It can also be rented out for meetings.
“It’s our mini-headquarters,” said Linda Snyder, vice president of travel and retail services at AAA Minneapolis. “We are calling it our superstore.”
Staff from the Eden Prairie and Edina branches were consolidated for the expanded facility.
There were many motivating factors for AAA to pick Eden Prairie. That includes, Snyder said, a “great growing community, lot more traffic in here, a bigger space.”
Snyder described the challenges AAA encountered along the way. Approval of the expansion was OK’d in February 2020. A lease was signed, then everything closed down due to COVID-19.
Last August, with the arrival of a new CEO, AAA decided to revisit the project, and the board approved it.
Another factor that made it work was that the Edina AAA location was small, and the rent cost more than for the expanded space in Eden Prairie. A bigger location allows them to add more services.
The senior driving program is scheduled to begin in late July. The novice driver-ed program will also commence soon. On-site equipment needs to be installed first.
License and vehicle (DMV) services are not available at this location.
The Eden Prairie branch is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and is closed on weekends.
As part of the branch’s opening celebration, AAA is offering discounts on services and products through Friday, June 10.
Editor’s note: Vijay Dixit is the chairman of Shreya R. Dixit Memorial Foundation, a 501-c-3 nonprofit advocating distraction-free driving. Of note for this story, the foundation offers driver-ed scholarships.
Dixit is also a board member of Eden Prairie Local News and a member of the EPLN Development Committee and journalism team.
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