World’s Largest Kayak-Maker Expanding In Michigan

KL Outdoor/GSC Technologies' Muskegon expansion will create 153 jobs and $9.2 million in investment with help from state and local business incentives.

KL Outdoor/GSC Technologies, a New Water Capital portfolio company, has announced it will base its corporate and manufacturing operations in Muskegon, MI, generating 153 jobs and a total $9.2 million in new investment in the region. The company’s new global headquarters will be located in Muskegon’s iconic pyramid-shaped Terrace Point office building at 700 Terrace Point Drive.

New KLO/GSC corporate headquarters at 700 Terrace Point Drive in Muskegon, MI. (PRNewsfoto/New Water Capital, L.P.)

“Local and state leadership has continuously demonstrated commitment and support of our mutual interests and growing partnership,” said KLO/GSC CEO Chuck Smith. “We are extremely excited about the short and long-term prospects for this combined enterprise, which 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.”

The expansion of the KLO/GSC corporate headquarters will accommodate new growth resulting from the company merger and improved efficiencies, said New Water Capital partner Jason Neimark. The company chose the Michigan site over a competing site in Quebec, Canada.

“The headquarters and plant expansion has received tremendous support from the state of Michigan and the local community,” said Neimark. “We have tremendous confidence that our investment in the state and in Muskegon will pay off for our company in a stronger, better-run operation and for the people of Michigan in jobs and economic growth.”

KLO/GSC CEO Chuck Smith greets Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder as company announces $9.2 million HQ and plant expansion in Muskegon. Photo courtesy of KLO/GSC. (PRNewsfoto/New Water Capital, L.P.)

The KLO/GSC expansion project received a $765,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund.

“We applaud KLO/GSC’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 (MEDC), which administers the MSF grant program. “With more than 11,000 inland lakes and more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes coastline, Michigan is a natural fit for the largest paddle sports company in the world.”

The City of Muskegon also has pledged its support for the project with a 12-year tax abatement, valued at $69,000. Workforce development agency West Michigan Works! has offered hiring and training assistance.

Muskegon Area First worked with the merged company in collaboration with the MEDC to support KLO/GSC in expanding locally rather than relocating to another state or country.

“KL Outdoor/GSC’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,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “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.”

Relocating or Expanding Your Business In Michigan

Considering Michigan for your company’s relocation or expansion project? Check out Business Facilities’ Michigan Incentives and Workforce Development Guide.