Itasca County offers fully developed commercial and industrial infrastructure at many available sites, including next generation broadband connectivity and a multi-modal transportation network which connect businesses in Grand Rapids-Itasca County to the global marketplace.
Low cost electric power (in the lowest 10% nationwide) provides a key competitive advantage by helping to reduce variable costs for business operations.
Broadband connectivity, including fiber to more than 4,000 homes in the Grand Rapids area, allows businesses the advantage of home based operations.
Serving as a hub for two U. S. Highways, the Grand Rapids area allows shipping to all points in North America and globally via the St. Lawrence Seaway in Duluth, Minnesota.
Minnesota Power, Lake Country Power and North Itasca Electric Cooperative provide electrical service in Itasca County. Their rates are consistently among the lowest 10% in the nation.
|Provider||Industrial - Cent per kWh|
|Minnesota Power (2012)||$5.529|
|U.S. Mid-Atlantic (2012)||$8.246|
|U.S. West South Central (2012)||$5.287|
|U.S. West Pacific (2012)||$6.977|
|New England (2012)||$8.861|
The Itasca County area is uniquely positioned for significant expansion in the use of broadband for individual and commercial use. Though primarily rural in nature with many opportunities to live on nearby lakes or in surrounding forests, access to Broadband exists extensively throughout the county.
As an example, of the approximately 4,000 homes in the Grand Rapids area, virtually all are currently served by fiber optic cable. This allows FTTP Internet services that are easily available, commercially affordable, and reasonably priced. This infrastructure supports internet speeds of up to 60Mbps and Metro Ethernet speeds up to 1Gbps. Similar infrastructure exists in the adjacent cities of Cohasset and Deer River, adding several thousand additional homes. Additional construction will soon provide this same advantage to other neighboring communities in the next several years.
Within the City of Grand Rapids’ Central Business District, The Itasca Technology Exchange offers Class A office space and a co-location Data Center used by several tenants and available for external co-location services. The Data Center is currently served by redundant Internet services at 100Mbps and scalable to 1Gbps. Itasca Technology Exchange connects early-stage and expanding technology companies with high-speed, high-bandwidth network connectivity, data center services, office facilities, capital investment, and business services to help grow technology business.
Itasca County area is unique not only in its quality of life, but in its ability to welcome and support Information Technology employers.
HIGHWAYS: US Highways 2 and 169 and State Highways 6, 38, 46, 65 and 200 provide good surface transportation routes to the Itasca area. US Highway 2 between Grand Rapids and Duluth, MN is a designated heavy haul corridor allowing transportation by double trailer rigs. This Commodity Corridor provides access to international shipping channels available at the Port of Duluth.
RAIL: Burlington Northern Santa Fe serves Itasca County, with additional access to four major rail carriers (BNSF, CN, CF and CP) in Duluth.
AIRPORTS: The Chisholm/Hibbing airport is located one half-hour east of Grand Rapids and offers daily round-trip service to Minneapolis-St. Paul via Delta Airlines. The Duluth International Airport, approximately 80 miles southeast of Grand Rapids, offers several daily round-trip flights to Chicago via United Airlines, several round-trip flights to Minneapolis-St. Paul via Delta, and weekly roundtrip service to Orlando, Las Vegas and Phoenix via Allegiant Air.
At the Grand Rapids Airport, Airways Aviation provides services such as Northern Air charter flights, scenic air rides, aircraft rental and flight instruction. Smaller county airports are located in the communities of Bowstring and Bigfork.
DEEP WATER PORT: Access to worldwide shipping channels is available at the international seaway port located of Duluth, Minnesota, which is located less than one week's sailing time from the Atlantic Ocean.