Gov. Snyder celebrates KL Outdoor for investing $9.2 million, creating 153 jobs in Muskegon


Expansion receives support from Michigan Strategic Fund 

Friday, Aug. 25, 2017

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today praised KL Outdoor of Muskegon for its decision to establish its corporate headquarters and expand operations in the city of Muskegon, thanking the company for continuing to invest in the state and for bringing new jobs to Michigan.

Snyder joined KL Outdoor Chief Executive Officer Chuck Smith along with other company executives, government officials, and local partners in Muskegon to celebrate the company’s expansion, a project that is expected to generate $9.2 million in total investment and create 153 jobs.

“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,” 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.”

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.

Today the Michigan Strategic Fund announced a $765,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant in support of the project.

“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, the state’s chief marketing and business attraction arm that administers programs and performs due diligence on behalf of the MSF.

“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,” he said.

“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 Outdoor Chief Executive Officer 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.”

The city of Muskegon has offered a 12-year tax abatement valued at $69,000, and West Michigan Works! has offered hiring and training assistance. Individuals interested in careers with KLO Holdings should visit

“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.”

Visit here to view a video on KL Outdoor.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community and talent development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Visit Pure Michigan Talent Connect at for more information on Michigan’s online marketplace for connecting job seekers and employers. Join the conversation on: FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and Twitter.