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Woodbury mulling new way to market growing city

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Addressing the city's escalating growth and ways to market it, Woodbury officials are reaching out to hoteliers, restaurateurs and other business leaders with a survey to determine whether the city should establish a convention and visitor's bureau, Finance and Commerce reports.

If the city establishes a bureau, Woodbury would propose a 3 percent hospitality and lodging tax to fund it, the publication said.

Woodbury Housing and Community Development Director Karal Batalden told Finance and Commerce that the idea is one city officials don't take lightly.

"We're in the process of getting the stakeholders' thoughts on the idea and figuring out the pros and cons," Batalden said. "This is very much in the early days."

The southeastern Twin Cities suburb is spending $16,000 to contract Zeitgeist Consulting out of Wisconsin to conduct the survey, and another $63,000 for a feasibility study by Minneapolis-based public relations and marketing firm Padilla CRT.

The city will be conducting the survey with businesses through Jan. 24.

The Business Journal says talk of a convention and visitors bureau is a signal of the fast growth in the city.

The publication says a new owner is redeveloping the 100-acre former State Farm Campus, and the plans include a 150-room hotel.

In addition, a new Costco will be opening in the city after the company searched for a spot there for more than a decade, the Business Journal said.

Last week, Minnesota-based international health club giant Anytime Fitness announced that it was moving its company headquarters from Hastings to Woodbury.

Anytime Fitness said its new campus will be built on a 38-acre site at the southwest corner of Interstates 94 and 494, and staffers are expected to move into the new facility by late spring or early fall in 2015.

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