BIG LAKE, MN—Pontoon company Premier Marine is moving its headquarters to an 85-acre campus here later this year from a facility in Wyoming, MN, to increase production. The Wyoming facility can produce about 1,500 boats a year, whereas the new plant will allow production of up to 5,000 a year.
"We just can't build enough boats where we're currently situated," says Doug Gullquist, senior director of culture at Premier Marine. "By having this additional land, we've set ourselves up well to make decisions based on what would be best for the company."
Of the 85 acres, approximately 20 are being developed, including a 150,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and a 30,0000-square-foot fiberglass and tooling operation.
In spring 2021, Premier Marine was purchased by the Envision Company, which wanted to construct a facility built expressly for manufacturing pontoons. Premier Marine sells directly to dealers, and presales for its next model year outpace the production capability of the Wyoming facility.
Premier Marine employs about 235 people, and plans to hire about 60 new employees in manufacturing roles, which will replace some employees who, for various reasons, will not be relocating with the company. It hopes to grow to around 325 employees in a few years.
Two departments will temporarily stay in Wyoming, but eventually all of Premier Marine will operate out of the Big Lake facility. Construction began on the Big Lake in late 2021. It is expected to be fully operational by September 1.