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KL Outdoor Chooses Muskegon, Michigan, as Headquarters

KL Outdoor will establish its corporate headquarters and expand operations in Muskegon, Michigan. The project is expected to generate $9.2 million in total investment and create 153 jobs.

KLO Holdings dba KL Outdoor, established in 1982, manufactures Sun Dolphin kayaks and other recreational products including pedal boats, paddleboards, canoes, hunting blinds and playground equipment.

The company recently merged with Quebec-based GSC Technologies, maker of Future Beach kayaks. The merger is expected to result in a company with increased capacity to accommodate fast-growing customer demands, as well as a broader product offering and brand portfolio.

To accommodate the new growth, the company plans to locate its global headquarters as well as expand production at its existing facility in the city of Muskegon. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Quebec, Canada.

As an incentive, Michigan Strategic Fund approved a $765,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant in support of the project. In addition, the city of Muskegon has offered a 12-year tax abatement valued at $69,000, and West Michigan Works! offered hiring and training assistance.

“On behalf of the New Water Capital, KL Outdoor and GSC-Future Beach, I want to thank Muskegon Area First, the city of Muskegon, and the state of Michigan for all their support. Local and state leadership has continuously demonstrated commitment and support of our mutual interests and growing partnership. We are extremely excited about the short and long term prospects for this combined enterprise,” said KL CEO Chuck Smith.

“The newly formed company is the largest producer of kayaks in the world and will continue to benefit from the fast growing paddle sports business. We are also excited to continue to call Muskegon home and anticipate the office move to the lakeshore site to be a great benefit to our dedicated employees, ” he added.

“KL Outdoor’s decision to establish its global headquarters and expand here rather than in another location means good jobs for Michigan residents and underscores the strength of the state’s manufacturing talent,” Governor Rick Snyder said. “KL Outdoor’s merger with Quebec-based GSC Technologies makes the company the largest kayak manufacturer in the world, and we can’t think of a better place for that company to be than right here in the Great Lakes State.”

“We applaud KL Outdoor’s commitment to Michigan and look forward to working with the company as it continues to expand in the outdoor water sports market,” said Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

“We are excited and humbled to be selected by KL Outdoor as the home of their new world headquarters. KL has strategically grown into a world leader in design and production of outdoor recreational products, and it’s fitting that their home will continue to be in one of Michigan’s premier waterfront communities,” said Muskegon Mayor Steve Gawron. “I can think of no better home for the World’s largest and finest kayak manufacturer than the shores of Muskegon Lake, just a stone’s throw from Lake Michigan.”

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