NOTE: Kasson Billiard Table Manufacturing is no longer in business and this location is CLOSED.
Kasson Manufacturing Babbitt MN
Kasson Manufacturing Address
Kasson Manufacturing Babbitt
11 Commerce Rd Babbitt, MN55706-1117USA
Saint Louis County
Kasson Billiard Tables
Kasson Manufacturing, Inc.
Kasson Pool Tables
Contact Kasson Manufacturing
Reach Kasson Manufacturing using the contact info below:
Kasson Manufacturing Babbitt Phone Number
(218) 827-3701 (Billiard Supply Sales)
Kasson Manufacturing Website
Logos for Kasson Manufacturing Babbitt, MN
Logos from Kasson Billiards of Babbitt, MN. Kasson were makers of pool tables in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Kasson Manufacturing Babbitt - Manufacturer Info
Kasson Pool Tables was founded in 1983 by Dave Kasper and Wendy Johnson (Dave's Wife) when Dave was laid off as a pipe fitter. The husband and wife duo began as makers of pool table components.
The Husband and Wife team won a Joel Labovitz Entrepreneurial Success Award in 2001, when Kasson was the third largest billiard table manufacturer and distributor in the United States.
Suffering from low-priced competition from Malaysia, China, and other foriegn competitors, and running into inventory control issues, Kasson profits began to suffer.
Kasson Billiard Tables began running into trouble in 2002 when they fell short of sales projection. CEO Don Swanstrom noted that Kasson expected to sell only 11,000 pool tables in 2002 which is 2000 tables short of a projected 13,000 billiard tables. Kasson laid off 26 of it's employees in December 2002 as a result. 15 of those layoffs were considered "indefinite".
Even though Kasson received a great deal of financial assistance between that time and it's evental demise in 2006, the company consistently lost money during that period.
Supposedly, in March 2003, a Michigan firm named Great Lakes Home and Resort Inc. began running the business after striking a leasing deal with Kasson Manufacturing's owner, David Kasper.
In November 2003, the pool table manufacturer's mortgage lender, the Northland Foundation, foreclosed on the $1,570,000 balance of a $1,700,000 USD mortgage on Kasson's 11 Commerce Rd plant. That $1.7 million in financing was awarded back in 2001 as part of an economic stimulation incentive to Kasson Manufacturing Inc.
Kasson did between $5 million to $6 million in sales in 2003, but it was highly leveraged and so a large portion of that revenue went to servicing that debt.
By the beginning of 2004 the Kasson Corporation employed over 40 people in manufacturing and was over $5,000,000 in debt to various lenders. It laid off some employees in March 2004 and was put up for sale May of 2004. Broker Calhoun Companies was hired to sell off Kasson Inc's assets.
During the time the company was up for sale, Kasson continued to build pool tables on a "by-the-order" basis. Kasson agreed to call back laid-off workers on a full-time basis if orders reached 170 tables a week.
Though Kasson had lost hundreds of thousands of dollars between 2003 and 2004, the broker was able to generate inquiries, and Kasson received bids from several potential buyers. A Chicago IL private equity firm named Arbor Point Partners made a winning bid in July 2004 to acquire any remaining physical assets held by Kasson Mfg Inc. Arbor Point planned to continue to use the Kasson name, revitalize the brand name, and bring Kasson back to profitability by implementing manufacturing efficiencies. Arbor Point executive Gary Knaus indicated that he expected it to take several years for Kasson to fully recover and return the level of sales and profitability it once enjoyed.
The Arbor Point bid included an investment of $1,000,000 USD as well as $525,000 USD in loans from various other interested parties for equipment. Included in the group of lenders is The City of Babbit (pop. 1670), where Kasson's primary plant is located. As part of the deal, the City of Babbit was loaned $375,000 to purchase Kasson's main manufacturing building. Presumably this was because Kasson Manufacturing was Babbit's largest employer (employing over 40 workers) and was also Babbit's largest taxpayer. As of January 2004 Kasson Pool Tables owed the city over $400,000 USD in unpaid taxes.
By 2005, Kasson was producing a line of 17 different billiard table styles. In March of 2005, Great Lakes Home and Resort Inc. (makers of outdoor furniture, saunas, and hot tubs) finally acquired all assets held by Kasson Manufacturing Incorporated. The details of the purchase were not made public. Great Lakes had no prior experience in the billiard table manufacturing or in the cue sports market. Great Lakes indicated that the ownership of the Kasson Brand would fit well within the company's expanding portfolio and long term strategy. At the time of the Kassson purchase, Great Lakes President Rick Mouw indicated that the Kasson pool table manufacturing would remain in Babbitt MN. However, Great Lakes abandoned Kasson after a few months of loosing a great deal of money.
Kasson finally closed it's doors for good in October of 2006, causing the loss of jobs for the twelve remaining employees. At it's peak, Kasson Manufacturing employed 89. On Saturday, April 28, 2007, the final assets held by Kasson went up for public auction (excluding Kasson's building which was, by this time, owned by the City of Babbit). Besides the building, there was $400,000 USD worth of billiard table manufacturing equipment and supplies. The Northland Foundation (Kasson's Lender) holds title to most of the equipment being sold off, which means the majority of the proceedds from the auction went to them. A Duluth news report indicated that much of the Kasson equipment had been for sale on the internet for months prior to the auction and that some had sold. Any completed pool tables will not be auctioned, but spare parts, such as mouldings, trim, slate, and pockets were all up for auction.