Premier Plastics Inc. has completed a $2 million relocation and expansion in northeastern Minnesota.
The business moved about 180 miles to Hoyt Lakes from Wyoming, Minn., Bob Menne, owner and president, said by telephone. The move began in mid-April.
The rotational molder and vacuum former leased 30,000 square feet, vacated 22,200 square feet and is taking advantage of economic incentives.
Premier added a second FSP rotomolding machine, this one with a 10-foot oven. The other unit has an 8-foot oven.
For vacuum forming, Premier added two Heartland machines - a double ender with a 4-foot-by-7-foot bed and a single-sider - to go with an existing Comet.
Menne and plant manager Gary Hanks relocated and, so far, have hired 16 people including Corey Michal, engineering project manager; Paul Wagener, tooling development manager; and Lorna Anttila, controller. Premier projects employing as many as 50 within five years.
Premier is locating near a generating facility of Minnesota Power. Minnesota Power provided support through its economic development loan program and leveraged help from the state Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Agency, business recruiter Arrowhead Business Connection, the East Range Joint Powers Board, nonprofit economic developer Northspan Group Inc., St. Louis County and the city.
Premier supplies products to pontoon boat makers Premier Marine Inc. and Crestliner Inc.; makes components for Kawasaki, Polaris and Suzuki all-terrain vehicles; and makes items for recreational equipment firm Stearns Inc. and outdoor outfitter Cabela's Inc.
Menne founded the business in 1997.
Premier is collaborating with neighbor Don Belcourt's BelCorp. The nonmetal die-cut maker opened a Hoyt Lakes facility last year to complement its existing Burnsville, Minn., headquarters plant. BelCorp stamps parts from foam, rubber, felt, fibers and leather.