The Excel Boat Company in Mountain View, Ark., will expand to Lake County, Tenn., with a planned 100,000-square foot manufacturing facility that will include an office space, showroom, and visitor area.
The development is estimated to create up to 200 manufacturing jobs. Construction begins this month and the facility is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2019.
Excel manufactures aluminum boats for outdoor recreational enthusiasts. It was created after a 2009 tornado destroyed Rivertrail Boat Company of Clinton. All production closed and more than 30 employees lost their jobs. Excel owner Glenn Foreman purchased the company and developed the Mountain View location thanks in part to a $200,000 U.S. Economic Development Administration Revolving Loan Fund loan. The RLF loan also provided funding for tooling, a forklift, fixtures, working capital, and inventory.
The facility employs more than 30, but according to Excel National Sales Manager Dave Reynolds, that number will soon increase with expansion underway at the Mountain View plant.
Arkansas manufacturing jobs as a whole are up 1,200 since the start of the year, according to preliminary numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with 159,300 in June against January’s 158,100. The sector appeared to have bottomed out in July 2014 when it reached a 10-year low of 152,000.