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Quiksilver Inc. coming to Park City

Town gets winter-sports offices; S.L. receiving distribution facility

Park City has been tabbed by a sports equipment and apparel powerhouse to house the headquarters for its U.S. winter-sports businesses, and a distribution facility will be added in the Salt Lake area.

Quiksilver Inc., based in Huntington Beach, Calif., said Tuesday that its Park City operations, to be called Mountain Center, will serve as national headquarters for Rossignol and Dynastar — both now based in Burlington, Vt. — and some operations of Quiksilver's existing snowboard business in Washington state.

The Park City and Salt Lake operations will have about 100 jobs, with most of them in Park City.

Quiksilver said Park City will serve as headquarters for all U.S. operations of Rossignol, Dynastar, Lange and Look and for the new Roxy ski business, a collaboration with Dynastar focusing on alpine ski products for young women. The Mountain Center also will handle some functions of Quiksilver's Lib Technologies, Gnu and Bent Metal snowboard brands.

Francois Goulet, president of Rossignol North America, said Park City operations will include administration, sales, marketing and promotions and sports marketing.

Many Rossignol administrative functions — including treasury, human resources and legal components — will be consolidated with Quiksilver's operations in Huntington Beach, and Quiksilver will maintain some presence in Vermont and Washington.

Goulet said the Sale Lake distribution center's location has not been determined — the company is in discussions with several developers — and the Park City operations will be in a new facility in the Redstone area at the entrance to Park City.

The Salt Lake-area distribution facility will provide the Americas with mountain-related products. Quiksilver has a regional distribution office in Clearfield with about 20 employees, and some will move to the Salt Lake facility when it is completed.

The move of facilities and people to the Mountain Center is expected to start next spring, and the Salt Lake distribution facility is expected to be operational at about the same time.

Quiksilver completed its Rossignol Group acquisition in July. Rossignol's revenues totaled about $589 million in the 12 months prior to March 31, and the combined company has annual revenues of nearly $2 billion.

"The strategy behind the acquisition was to create an entity that is the world's leading outdoor sports lifestyle company," said Chris Licata, president of the Dynastar line. "Accordingly, the next step was to make sure we were doing everything we could to leverage those brands. The decision was made for Quiksilver to develop a Mountain Center to house and unify all the winter brands, including the Rossignol and Dynastar brands as well as some other snowboard brands that currently reside in the Pacific Northwest. The idea was to pick a location that best embodies the new direction of the company in a lifestyle-intense environment that really reflects the values of our company."

The goal is to be a "dominant force in the outdoor world," he said. "It frankly is something that doesn't exist in our business right now — the chance to bring all these brands under one roof and really leverage the creative forces at work."

The estimated $5 million price tag for moving from Vermont is part of Quiksilver's Rossignol acquisition, but the sale of the Vermont facilities — valued at more than $4 million — is expected to cover most of the cost. Goulet said about 45 positions will move from Vermont to Utah.

Quiksilver also has received a Utah tax incentive totaling $2.5 million. In July, the Governor's Office of Economic Development Board approved a tax rebate for the then-unidentified 7,000-employee sporting goods company to put its headquarters in Utah, a move expected to create about 100 jobs in the state. The board approved an overall tax rebate of 30 percent of the incremental taxes created over a 10-year period and said Utah was competing with Colorado to land the headquarters

Goulet said the company "felt welcome" and appreciated the collaborative efforts of Utah government, Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. and the Economic Development Corp. of Utah to land the operations in Utah.

"Another important aspect is we feel Utah is well-poised to become a key place for winter sports. It already is, with 10 major resorts within an hour drive of the Salt Lake airport. We really believe in what your government wants, where they want to position Utah as a major destination winter sports area. That also played into our decision. Utah already has the outdoor association and trade shows based in Salt Lake City twice a year. That shows that Utah is really becoming the epicenter of outdoor sports."

Both Goulet and Licata said another factor was Utah's proximity to Quiksilver headquarters in Huntington Beach.

In a prepared statement, Huntsman said the move to Utah is "further illustration that Park City and the surrounding areas of Utah are increasingly viewed as the epicenter for winter sports recreation and lifestyle."


E-mail: bwallace@desnews.com