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Vanna Adventure Vans relocating from Moorhead to West Fargo

The business customizes vans for mobile offices, campers and more and will move across the Red River from Minnesota to North Dakota.

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Jason Gilbraith, left, and Ben Gleason, the founders of Vanna Adventure Vans, a conversion van business, sit in a custom camper van outside their Moorhead shop on Jan. 31, 2021.
Chris Flynn / The Forum
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WEST FARGO — Conversion van business Vanna Adventure Vans is moving from Moorhead to West Fargo.

While West Fargo is giving the company a property tax break, the business is expected to generate more sales tax for the city than what it will be given.

On Monday, Jan. 16, the West Fargo City Commission granted Vanna Adventure Vans a five-year payment in lieu of taxes incentive worth $140,533.70 to expand to West Fargo.

"This expansion would move from Minnesota to North Dakota," Economic Development Manager Casey Berglund-Sanders said Monday.

Vanna Adventure Vans helps customers build specialty vans such as sprinters or camper vans. According to the business's website, Vanna's slogan is, "You dream it, we build it."

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The Moorhead company Ben Gleason and Jason Gilbraith founded over a year ago has found quick success with outdoor and travel enthusiasts across the country. “We want to build some of the best camper vans that people could get their hands on,” Gleason said.

Customers can order a Ford or Mercedes Sprinter van through Vanna or they can bring in their own van to be outfitted as a work station, camper or even a high-tech mobile operation. Berglund-Sanders said the company is currently expanding to also offer mobile medical units.

The company needs additional space to keep up with demand and their new West Fargo facility will allow for more equipment, staff and production. In turn, the company will be able to work more efficiently on more projects and increase production and sales.

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Vanna Adventure Vans in Moorhead specializes in custom camper van builds. The business is relocating to West Fargo.
Chris Flynn / The Forum

The expansion means an addition of about 30 jobs in West Fargo. The company already has at least 36 orders to fulfill in 2023 and the year's projected sales are 86 units to be sold at about $120,000 per unit, Berglund-Sanders said.

"It looks to me we'll be making more in sales tax than we're giving them," Commissioner Mark Simmons said. "That's a pretty good deal in my eyes."

Mayor Bernie Dardis said he has toured Vanna's current facility and that the company produces a "quality product."

The business was founded in 2020 by Ben Gleason and Jason Gilbraith as the first custom van conversion and adventure van rental service in Minnesota or North Dakota.

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