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Smoker Craft Expands New Paris, Indiana, Operations

Smoker Craft Inc., a boat and pontoon manufacturer, plans to expand operations in New Paris, Indiana. The project is expected to create up to 100 jobs by the end of 2024.

The company will invest $12 million to construct and equip a 200,000-square-foot space on its current 600,000-square-foot production campus at 68143 Clunette Street for additional boat manufacturing and shipping. Construction has begun, and the new building is expected to be fully operational by April 2022.

"Smoker Craft Inc. started construction on a 200,000-square-foot warehouse and shipping facility," said Tim Jones, vice president of finance for Smoker Craft. "This expansion will be used to increase efficiencies to the loading process and allow us to ship not only more boats to our dealers all over North America but raise the quality of the delivered product. The warehouse portion of the project is designed to free up manufacturing space in all three of our product lines: aluminum fishing boats, pontoon boats and fiberglass deck boats. This expansion will help meet the increased demand for our product throughout our dealer network. We look forward to bringing more quality jobs to New Paris, Indiana, and continuing our growth in the Marine Industry."

Based on the company’s job creation plans, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) committed an investment in Smoker Craft Inc. of up to $600,000 in the form of incentive-based tax credits. The IEDC will also commit up to $200,000 from the Hoosier Business Investment (HBI) tax credit program based on the company's planned capital investment in Indiana. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired and investments are made. The Elkhart County Council approved real and personal property tax incentives.

"We are extremely pleased that Smoker Craft Inc., a legacy Elkhart County company and a leader in the boating industry, continues to thrive and grow additional production capabilities in New Paris," said Chris Stager, president of the Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County.

Founded in 1961, Smoker Craft produces aluminum fishing boats, high-adrenaline fiberglass sport boats and next-generation performance pontoons. The business sells its boats through a domestic and international network of more than 300 dealers.

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