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Archive for January, 2012

Sierra Nevada Brewing Locates to Henderson County, NC

Search for East Coast Operation Site Concludes

Henderson County, NC—Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. announced their plans today to locate their east coast brewing, bottling and distribution operation in Mills River, NC. The Chico, CA based company, and family-owned pioneer in craft brewing, will break ground on their facility in the coming year.

The company plans to create 95 full time jobs, 80 part-time positions and invest $107.5 million during the next five years in Henderson County. In addition the company expects that 60 construction and mechanical jobs will be supported during the 24-month building process. The average wage for jobs created will be $41,526 plus benefits, exceeding the county’s average wage by 28%.

“After carefully looking at more than 200 sites east of the Mississippi, Sierra Nevada is pleased to locate our second brewery in Henderson County,” said Ken Grossman, CEO of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. “We are very grateful to the officials in Mills River, Henderson County and the State of North Carolina whose time, effort and commitment were instrumental in making this happen. We are proud to be associated with many fine breweries that call North Carolina home.”

The company will be the first occupant of the 262 acre Ferncliff Park, a North Carolina Certified Site. Ferncliff was an ideal fit for the company, because the plan for the park’s development reflected their focus on sustainability, native landscaping, environmental stewardship, and energy efficiency design standards. Sierra Nevada’s location in Ferncliff will further develop the connectivity of the French Broad River, from headwaters and beyond, creating unique opportunities for a customer experience. The full operation is expected to include a restaurant, tasting room, and live music venue.

Tommy Thompson, Chairman of the Henderson County Board of Commissions shared, “Henderson County is excited to welcome Sierra Nevada to our community. The culture of Sierra Nevada is a natural fit here and the Board of Commissioners is excited not only for the economic benefit to the region, but also the cultural impact of this company.”

HCPED Board Chairman, Kelly Leonard said, “working with Sierra Nevada was an intimate process, and for those of us involved personally it has been a great pleasure. This is a family-owned operation and through each meeting, we learned that this family was choosing a new home, one that would be an extension of their personal culture. We anticipate great things from this company and their role in  and impact to the community.”

The Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development, Inc. is a 501(c)6 organization that works to: retain and attract quality jobs; solicit new business compatible with the assets and values of Henderson County; promote Henderson County’s business image; assist expansion of existing companies; and enhance Henderson County’s overall quality of life.  For more information on the Partnership visit www.strategiclocation.com.  For more information about Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., visit www.sierranevada.com.

Legacy Paddlesports Relocation to Fletcher, NC

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.”