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Arctic Cat Inc., the snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle manufacturer founded and based in Thief River Falls, will relocate its headquarters and key corporate personnel...

Arctic Cat Inc., the snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle manufacturer founded and based in Thief River Falls, will relocate its headquarters and key corporate personnel to the Minneapolis area by fall, the company recently announced.
Manufacturing operations will remain in Thief River Falls, while the headquarters, with certain corporate executives, general managers and sales and marketing personnel, will move to the Twin Cities. Fifteen positions are affected.
“The new location will improve operating efficiency of this group by placing them closer to many of their business partners who are already located in this area,” according to Arctic Cat Chairman and CEO Christopher Twomey.
The move is expected to cost Arctic Cat about $1.6 million.
“It’s a good move for Arctic Cat,” Thief River Falls Mayor Steve Nordhagen said. “They’re just trying to do what’s best for the company.”
Of the 15 positions, Nordhagen said, not all of them live in Thief River Falls, and some who do may decide to stay and find employment elsewhere.
“The impact could be as little as five people,” Nordhagen said.
But the positions are some of the highest paid in the community. “You always hate to see people of that caliber leave town,” Nordhagen said. “They are great citizens and wonderful people. That’s what we will miss the most.”
Arctic Cat, which reported employing about 1,800 workers at the start of this year, is one of the top private-sector employers in the Northwest Minnesota region, behind Marvin Windows and Doors in Warroad, Minn.; Altru Health System in Grand Forks; Digi-Key in Thief River Falls; and Polaris Industries in Roseau, Minn., a rival snowmobile and ATV manufacturer.
Officials said the move is part of a reorganization that will divide the company into three separate components: ATVs, snowmobiles, and retail.
Arctic Cat also plans a one-time, 30 percent reduction in snowmobile production. The intent, the company said, is to help dealers lower their snowmobile inventory levels to more closely match demand. Company officials said steps are being taken to improve future profitability and growth prospects.
Thief River Falls’ mayor does not expect to see any layoffs and loss of citizens from this event. “What they will do is start manufacturing the snowmobiles later in the year and end earlier,” Nordhagen said. “I don’t expect any massive layoffs.”
Arctic Cat eliminated about 65 jobs in February, mostly in Thief River Falls. Twomey said then the move reflected the size of the market conditions.
Nordhagen said the job losses affected the community, but not right away. “You don’t really see the impact immediately. But of course it has an impact,” he said.
Source: Grand Forks Herald

Another Stupid Snowmobile Thief
Grand Rapids (Minnesota) Police arrested a 29-year-old man recently after the suspect stole a snowmobile from a hangar at the Grand Rapids-Itasca County Airport. The thief attempted his getaway on the 2005 Ski-Doo sled by skipping across Lily Lake. Problem was, the lake was open and he ran out of gas, only making it a couple hundred yards and then having to swim for shore. Turns out the fuel was shut off. Did we mention this happened in June?
The bright yellow Ski-Doo sank, and two DNR conservation officers borrowed a rowboat to pluck the guy from the shore and turn him over to awaiting police.
The incident occurred shortly after noon, and there was no evidence that alcohol was involved.
Even stranger was the fact there was nowhere to go even if he had made it across the lake. There was a chain-link fence on the other side of the lake, as the entire airport is fenced in to keep deer out.
The man faces burglary and theft of a motor vehicle charges.
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune

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