Week of January 13, 2003
  Blockbuster Deal
   from Site Selection's exclusive New Plant database
Miami, Oklahoma
Tracker Marine's pick of Miami, Okla. (pictured) for its 250-employee plant "is the most exciting thing that has happened since I started working at the Miami Area Economic Development Service (MAEDS) in 1987," said MAEDS Executive Director Judee Snodderly.
250-Employee Tracker Marine Plant Docking in Miami
. . . Okla.

by JACK LYNE, Site Selection
Executive Editor of Interactive Publishing
MIAMI, Okla. – Boat-maker Tracker Marine Group (www.trackermarine.com) is docking a 250-employee manufacturing plant in Miami. Only it's not in the Miami of far-south Florida; it's in the Miami of far-upper-northeast Oklahoma.
        One of the largest U.S. manufacturers of bass and pontoon boats, Tracker Marine Group has selected the Oklahoma city of 13,704 residents for the plant, which will build the company's Tahoe runabout and deck boats.
        Officials with the Miami Area Economic Development Service (MAEDS at www.miami-ok.org) had been working for some 15 months to land the Tracker Marine plant, according to MAEDS Executive Director Judee Snodderly.
        Adding 250 employees represents a big step for Tracker Marine. The 25-year-old company currently employs a total of some 2,000 workers.
        "After considering several other sites, Miami is the best location for our company's needs, and we are excited about our new venture here," Tracker Marine Group President Ken Burroughs said in announcing the decision.
The Miami plant will build Tracker Marine's popular Tahoe runabout and deck boats (one of which is pictured above). Photo: Tracker Marine Group

        Burroughs didn't disclose any other sites that the Bass Pro subsidiary considered. He did, however, outline the major factors in picking Miami for the plant. Those factors, Burroughs explained, included "an experienced work force with boat-building knowledge, the incentives offered by the city of Miami and the state of Oklahoma, and Miami's proximity to our corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, as well as to our key markets."

Will Set Up Shop in
Closed U.S. Marine Plant

Tracker Marine Group's specific site choice reflects the "boat-building knowledge" residing in Miami's work force.
        The company has agreed to purchase a 195,000-sq.-ft. (17,550-sq.-m.) existing facility that previously served as a Bayliner U.S. Marine plant. The Miami manufacturing operation employed about 150 workers before Arlington, Wash.-based U.S. Marine announced in July of 2001 that it was closing the plant.
        Tracker Marine is buying the closed plant from Brunswick Corp., U.S. Marine's parent company.
        Burroughs didn't discuss how much the company has agreed to pay Brunswick for the facility; nor did he estimate Tracker Marine's anticipated capital expenditures in readying the acquired facility for operations. The Miami plant will go online as early as March of 2003, he said.

Development Official: 'Incentives
Only Way to Get Someone to Come'

Long-time local economic developer Snodderly called the Tracker Marine project "the most exciting thing that has happened since I started working at MAEDS in 1987."
        Local and state incentives helped make that excitement happen.
        The Miami Industrial and Public Facilities Authority Board approved borrowing $300,000 to assist in Tracker Marine's purchase of the closed U.S. Marine plant. The board will repay the loan with income derived from lease payments on properties that the city of Miami owns, local officials said.
        Snodderly described negotiations with Tracker Marine as "intense . . . We feel very fortunate to have been selected for their expansion. There are only a handful of companies that are expanding at any given time. Incentives are the only way you get someone to come into your community, and the Miami City Council has made an investment in Tracker for the citizens of Miami and Ottawa County."
        The state is also providing Tracker Marine with employee-training incentives. Oklahoma development officials didn't estimate the training incentives' total value.
        "This is great news for Miami and northeast Oklahoma," said Gov. Frank Keating, who has been lobbying Bass Pro to establish operations in Oklahoma. "Tracker Marine is a well-known company that produces a quality product. I applaud the hard work of MAEDS in making this project a reality."

bd0113bbd0113b ©2003 Conway Data, Inc. All rights reserved. Data is from many sources and is not warranted to be accurate or current.