Frigid Temps Draw Business to Lake of the Woods

If you had a choice, would you choose to move to the Artic or Baudette, MN? Funny question? That’s the very question that was asked by businesses in the US that were looking for special testing sites with low temps for their new cars.

Baudette, MN Is located on the US/Canadian border and is known as a neighbor to the coldest spot in the US. That’s our friends who live in International Falls, or so they boast.   Lake of the Woods is known as the Walleye Capital of the World™. ice road prepThe temps in this northland are certainly conducive to the wonderful ice fishing season that is currently upon us. Ice measures over 20 inches and outfitters are busy busy busy with guests who travel here for this great season.

However, temps also play an important part for two businesses that have moved to the Lake of the Woods area. Any local person or guest traveling through on Hwy 11 can see incredible lights like a football field during the night hours.  One might even wonder if aliens have landed as temps in the atmosphere dictate how the lights shine into the sky on any given night. This local person even traveled one evening to see lights cascading straight up into the sky like beacons.

Two business that were brought here by the cold temps were Bosch, Inc. and AET (Automotive Enviro Testing). Both businesses test various brands of cars that will coming out in the future for their safety and durability during frigid winter months. Commercials by these companies have even put Baudette/Lake of the Woods on the map as they featured the area.

Temps bring Bosch to Baudette

Bosch in Baudette

Bosch, Inc. is located at the junction of US Hwy 11 and Co. Hwy 172.  The company purchased land there, landscaped it beautifully, built buildings to store their equipment and built an incredible course to test their automobiles. When temps dip, the employees arrive in town and stay approximately 3 months. Baudette is fortunate to have them here as they stay overnight at local hotels, dine at the local restaurants, skate at the local arenas, employ people from the area, and are very generous in supporting the community.

“The Bosch (  proving ground in Baudette, Minnesota, approximately 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of Bemidji and 70 miles (113 kilometers) west of International Falls, provides test track surfaces for vehicle and system level testing.”

“Bosch’s proving grounds offer a variety of environments you would need to carry out your vehicle and system tests efficiently and under any conditions you may wish. We can simulate a diverse mix of driving and weather conditions, for all vehicle types. This includes a multitude of test tracks, for all speeds, and every incline, with great traction, or hardly any, simulating land or ice. There is a wide range of specialized services and workshops available to help successfully carry out your test programs.”

Temps below freezing are what they are looking for as they make ice and snow for their testing course. They have created curves, straightaways, and hills and work all through the night putting their vehicles to the test.

The other business that frigid temps have created in the area is AET (Automotive Enviro Testing). This company is located south of Baudette on Co. Rd. 1 which used to be the old Air Force base in former years. Temps make great roadsThe local owner has cooperated with automobile companies and have also created a course that has been prepared for all their testing needs. This facility also houses employees and creates a great work environment for them. This facility tests a different brand of automobile but doesn’t disclose what they are testing. Locals will often see cars covered in camouflage buying gas at a local station.   Are they testing Hondas?, Toyotas?, Teslas?  It’s your guess.

2020 porsche taycan 4s ice drive 138 1578315504It’s been quoted, “AET has unprecedented track equipment, expert equipment operators and personnel for customer program support location.  Baudette is located in the “ice box region” of extreme northern Minnesota, an area known for having the best winter test conditions in the continental U.S. In 1995, AET began construction on a land based winter proving ground near BaudetteMinnesota. Today, AET is the most comprehensive low temperature test and evaluation facility in the industry. Totally self-contained and capable of supporting both the technical and human aspects of any program.”

Lake of the Woods known for its frigid temps during the winter months is very fortunate for the opportunities those temps bring to many industries.

The area welcomes you to come fish, dine, vacation, or move here to take advantage of this great northland and all of the magnificence it provides.


For more information on lodging around the Lake of the Woods area:

For info on ice fishing:

And to read an interesting article in Car and Driver Magazine…




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