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World’s largest kayak maker to open global headquarters in Muskegon

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Recently-merged firm to establish global home in Muskegon

MUSKEGON, Mich. —  The paddle-sport business is booming, so the world’s largest manufacturer of kayaks plans to invest $9.2 million to establish its new global headquarters in downtown Muskegon. It comes on the heels of a Muskegon firm’s recent merger with a Canadian company.

KL Outdoor/GSC-Future Beach expects the move to generate 153 jobs over the next three years. That’s according to a news release from Muskegon Area First, which made the announcement, along with Governor Rick Snyder and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). Gov. Snyder was joined by KL Outdoor Chief Executive Officer Chuck Smith and other officials in Muskegon to celebrate plans for the expansion in the Terrace Point office complex. The pyramid-shaped building is at 700 Terrace Point Drive.

Snyder said in the news release: “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. 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 in the Great Lakes State.”

The Michigan Strategic Fund will support the project with a $765,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.

MEDC CEO Jeff Mason says, “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.”

Muskegon Mayor Steve Gawron weighed in, as well:  “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”.



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