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ayak maker moving to Asheville area

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1/6/2012 - Kayak maker moving to Asheville area
by Dale Neal - Asheville Citizen Times

FLETCHER -- FLETCHER - Legacy Paddlesports, a leading kayak manufacturer, is moving its factory here, investing $4.5 million and creating 40 to 50 new jobs.

"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," said Bill Medlin, Legacy's president and CEO.

Based in Greensboro, Legacy features kayaks by liquidlogic, the kayaking line that was born near the Green River, one of the area's premiere whitewater rivers, in 2001. Legacy bought the Flat Rock-based liquidlogic in 2007.

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. Information regarding how to apply for the new positions will be released later this month.

liquidlogic, well known for its whitewater and crossover designs, has been named manufacturer of the year twice in its 12-year existence. Native Watercraft, Legacy's award winning fishing kayak line, has also been named manufacturer of year.

"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," said Tommy Thompson, Chairman of the Henderson County Board of Commissioners.

The commissioners approved $93,555 in economic incentives during a public hearing Aug. 15 for the project. Fletcher Town Council added an additional $46,777 in economic incentives. Economic incentives from the county and the town are designed to be spread out over a period of five years.

Medlin said the company is distinguished by its ownership and management by paddlers and other outdoor enthusiasts.Legacy's management team includes 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.

They pointed to the strong outdoor orientation and creative cluster in Western North Carolina as being key to Legacy's continued growth and success as well as the personal satisfaction and well-being of Legacy's employees.

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