Published in Breaking News

Muskegon kayak manufacturer to open $8.3 million plant in Georgia

BY MiBiz Staff Friday, April 06, 2018 01:19pm

MUSKEGON — A West Michigan kayak manufacturer plans to open a new manufacturing and distribution facility southeast of Atlanta.

KL Outdoor LLC of Muskegon will invest $8.3 million in a facility in Stockbridge, Ga., according to a statement from the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD). The investment is expected to create more than 100 jobs.

“Our workforce and strategic resources combined with the state’s solid logistics infrastructure makes Stockbridge a great location, as the company seeks to reach its customers more efficiently,” GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson said in a statement.

KL Outdoor, one of the nation’s largest kayak manufacturers under the Sun Dolphin and Evoke brands, also makes canoes, pedal boats, paddleboards and other outdoor equipment.

In March, the company said it planned to hire 70 employees at its Muskegon-area operations as a result of higher demand from retailers for its products, as MiBiz previously reported. The company employs about 250 full-time employees in West Michigan. 

The expansion into Georgia follows the company’s August 2017 announcement of a $9.2 million investment for a global headquarters in Muskegon at 700 Terrace Point Drive, where it plans to create 153 jobs over the next three years.

Last year, KL Outdoor sold to private equity firm New Water Capital LP of Boca Raton, Fla. and subsequently acquired Montreal-based manufacturer GSC Technologies Corp., a main competitor.

CEO Chuck Smith described the Georgia expansion as an “important manufacturing and distribution center.”

“The company expansion allows KL Outdoor to better serve our key customers by reducing the cost to deliver boats to their stores and ultimately the end-user,” Smith said in a statement.

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