Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Union Pacific Tours St. Louis Area Rcga Sends Cast of Stars to Sell Region

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Union Pacific Tours St. Louis Area Rcga Sends Cast of Stars to Sell Region

Article excerpt

Instead of hiring a consultant to pick its new headquarters city, Union Pacific Corp. has put its faith in senior executives and their spouses.

Union Pacific sent a 12-person delegation to St. Louis this week to look at everything from office buildings and houses to cultural institutions and schools.

Their whirlwind tour on Wednesday included stops at potential headquarters sites and side trips through the streets of Chesterfield, Clayton and other residential areas, said Gary Schuster, vice president for corporate relations. Economic development officials arranged for some of the area's top politicians - Gov. Mel Carnahan, U.S. Rep. Richard C. Gephardt and former U.S. Sen. John C. Danforth - to make a pitch for St. Louis and Missouri. "We had quite an all-star cast," said Richard C.D. Fleming, president of the Regional Commerce and Growth Association. Union Pacific, which operates the nation's biggest railroad, announced Tuesday that it would move its headquarters from Bethlehem, Pa., to either St. Louis or Dallas-Fort Worth. The company plans to pick one of those cities in two to three weeks and complete its move by Sept. 1. Union Pacific is relocating its executive offices to be closer to its main business, which is concentrated in the western half of the country. Although its railroad unit is based in Omaha, that city failed to make the list of finalists in the headquarters competition. Union Pacific will base its ultimate decision on a range of criteria, including lease rates, taxes, transportation systems, housing costs, schools and air service. In most of the categories, St. Louis stacks up well with Dallas, Fleming said. "We think we've got a good chance," he said. In addition to running a railroad, Union Pacific operates Overnite Transportation, a major trucking company, and Skyway Freight Systems, a forwarding operation. …

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