WELCOME - Jesse Odegaard has been repairing semi-trailers at his rural Armstrong business for several years, but next year he will have a new location with a full-service garage. As luck would have it, his family owns property at a prime location at the intersection of County Road 26 and Highway 263 in Welcome.
"The traffic that area sees is a big motivator for doing this,"?Odegaard said.
After the area was rezoned for business retail, work has begun on the shop.
"It will be full service," Odegaard said. "Semis, cars and trucks, tires ... It will be an eight-bay shop, a full office and lounge, show room and front desk area.
While Odegaard currently is a one-man show, he will be looking for four or five mechanics.
"It's kind of an eye-opener to make that step," Odegaard said. "If you've always been an employee to having employees, it's a switch."
It also will be a chance to become more high-profile.
"The location and traffic around there ... we've always intended to do something with it," said Odegaard, noting that his family owned the Northern Natural Gas plant formerly at the site. While it sold off the building, the family retained ownership of the land.
Odegaard hopes the building will be ready for business by early next year and be fully operational by spring.
"When I started my own business 11 years ago, I had zero customers," he said. "It's been word of mouth ... My motto has always been is to give them my individualized, personal attention ... Keeping that open communication is what got me where I am today."