Economic developers touring rural southeastern Minnesota towns

The 3rd annual Regional Development Tour is making its way to another four towns.

Posted: Aug 2, 2018 6:38 PM
Updated: Aug 3, 2018 6:17 AM

ELGIN, Minn. - A group of developers, including architects, business owners, and construction firms are spending the day traveling around Southeastern Minnesota on a Rochester City Lines bus.

The 3rd annual Regional Development Tour is led by Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA) and Journey to Growth.

The individuals and organizations on the bus tour are potentially interested in commercial investment and the tour is an opportunity for them to see rural Southeastern Minnesota communities first-hand to see if they might be interested in starting projects there.

"We just felt it was more impactful to actually bring folks in to some of our communities that we represent as opposed to what they can get from you sending them a brochure," explains senior vice president of CEDA Cris Gastner.

This year, the tour made stops in Eyota, Elgin, Kasson, and Hayfield.

Gwen Stevens, director of cooperative relations for People's Energy Cooperative has gone on the tour every year. She sees the tour as an opportunity for potential investers to take a look at communities other than Rochester.

"As Rochester grows, it's going to have an impact on the surrounding communities because as Rochester grows, not everybody wants to live in Rochester. So if they're looking for kind of that small town feel but yet big city ammenities, they have that in these communities that surround Rochester," Stevens explains.

The event wrapped up with a reception at Ground Round Bar and Grill in Rochester.

CEDA and J2G plan to have another tour again next year, visiting another four or so CEDA towns. Gastner tells me that once they've visited every CEDA town on a tour, they'll start over and go through them again.

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