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New industries flocking to Dixie

Clover Club is among employers moving into area

SHARE New industries flocking to Dixie

ST. GEORGE — More new jobs are coming to Utah's Dixie.

Clover Club potato chips, long a staple on Utah grocery store shelves, will be sliced, fried and packaged at a 60,000-square-foot, $4 million facility to be built at Fort Pierce Industrial Park on the city's south end, Snack Alliance Inc. executives announced Wednesday.

This is the second major food manufacturing company to announce plans to expand operations into St. George. Wells' Dairy, which makes Blue Bunny ice cream products, will build a $30 million plant this spring and hire an initial 40 employees.

John Frostad, president of Snack Alliance Inc., announced his company's plans to move into the area during Wednesday's sold out Washington County Economic Summit meeting at the Dixie Center.

Snack Alliance will employ around 65 people at startup and will pay "attractive, competitive" wages, company executives said. Snack Alliance is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, and supplies many of the largest regional and national stores with name brand and private label food products.

"For instance, we make Wal-Mart's brand of potato chips," said Frostad, adding most of the snack foods his firm produces are branded by other retailers with their own name and logo. Two of the more familiar Snack Alliance names to Utah consumers are Granny Goose and Nalley.

Also moving to St. George is First Consumer's National Bank, said Washington County economic development director Scott Hirschi. The bank plans to open a financial services center that will employ up to 235 people within the next three years, he said.

The bank already is building a high-tech, 25,000-square-foot facility across from Tonaquint Cemetery and Southgate Golf Course. Doug Watts of Watts Construction said the $1.3 million project should be completed by the end of May.

David Douglass, associate director of the state's National Business Development Program, said southern Utah is a bright spot in Utah's dismal economic picture right now.

"If you look at the number of businesses that are moving here, along with the population growth and economic growth, St. George is probably the brightest spot," Douglass said.

E-mail: nperkins@redrock.net