Henderson County, NC – Legacy Paddlesports is moving to Fletcher, NC, bringing $4.5 million in new capital investment and 72 jobs paying in excess of the average wage in Henderson County. The move will place Legacy right in the middle of the growing outdoor industry cluster that is developing in Western NC. More importantly it places Legacy very close to the Green River that has served as the inspiration catalyst for liquidlogic, one of Legacy’s premium lines of kayaks, since it’s founding in 2000.
According to Bill Medlin, Legacy’s President and CEO, “The relocation will facilitate Legacy’s continued growth by being able to attract employees that are passionate about the sport of kayaking and the outdoors in general. One of the primary differentiators between Legacy and most other manufacturers is that Legacy is a company that is owned and staffed by paddlers and other outdoor enthusiasts.”
The company has selected a facility in Fletcher and will begin making the improvements necessary for the relocation this month. The relocation is scheduled to be complete in July of 2012, leading to the creation of 40 to 50 new positions engaged in manufacturing administration, mold maintenance, facility maintenance, kayak molding and assembly and shipping/warehousing. Plans for recruiting the new staff have not yet been finalized. Medlin said that the future hiring plans would be well publicized later in the month and information regarding how application for the new positions should be made will be released at that time.
liquidlogic, well known for its whitewater and crossover designs, has been named manufacturer of the year twice in its twelve-year existence. Native Watercraft, Legacy’s award winning fishing kayak line, has also been named manufacturer of year during its short five-year life span.
Tommy Thompson, Chairman of the Henderson County Board of Commissioners, shared, “Legacy is a great fit for Henderson County, not only because of jobs created, but because the jobs created are a reflection of our outdoor culture and commitment to nurturing the recreation cluster as an economic development strategy.”
All five members of the executive team, including Woody Callaway, Shane Benedict, and Bryon Phillips who were part of the founding team at liquidlogic, and Mike Hooks, one of the founders of Legacy/Native Watercraft, join Bill Medlin in citing the strong outdoor orientation and creative cluster in Western NC as being key to Legacy’s continued growth and success as well as the personal satisfaction and well-being of Legacy’s employees. Medlin said that the group really appreciates the entrepreneurial, democratic, and cooperative nature of the business climate that predominates in the area as it reflects some of the basic principles that Legacy operates under.
The entire ownership group and executive team of Legacy credits the support and excitement of the Board of Commissioners of Henderson County, the Fletcher Town Council, and the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development as being key to their decision to relocate. Medlin said that working with these groups has been refreshing and inspiring. “Clearly, these groups have developed a well-balanced plan for growing their communities and are being very careful how they execute those plans. We are very happy that they want us to be included in those plans.”