Edgewood hardwood processing facility resumes popular tours

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 10:07 PM CDT
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EDGEWOOD, Iowa (KCRG) - A hardwood processing plant in Edgewood has started hosting indoors tours for the first time since the pandemic hit.

Greg Blomberg, Kendrick Forest Products’ general manager, said facility tours make it one of the most prominent tourist attractions in town.

”We do about 1,500 people a year and that number has been building,” Blomberg said. “So, over 10 years, you got yourself 15,000 tourists that have come through here.”

Last year, though, that number fell to zero because the pandemic forced them to shut down tours altogether.

”Everybody was trying to be as cautious as they could, so we were thankful that people were understanding that we had to cancel the tours,” Blomberg said.

But now, with employees vaccinated and people more willing to travel, they are opening back up.

”People are signing up and they are coming from Colorado, California, Nevada, you name it,” Blomberg said.

Elise Bergan with the Edgewood Chamber of Commerce echoed the magnitude of the impact these tours have on the town.

”I am sure that most people do not know that this company has customers in Korea, Italy,” Bergan said. “Also not across the states, but across the world, people come to Edgewood because of Kendrick Forest Products.”

Bergan said those people come to town and spend money in its local businesses and she, for one, is excited to welcome tourists back to town.

”I think that we have some outstanding unique things that happen that nobody knows about,” Bergan said. “We have all of this happening in a town of less than a thousand people.”

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