Summit Utilities opens new office in Fort Smith

by Talk Business and Politics ([email protected]) 1,287 views 

Summit Utilities, the parent company of Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corp. (AOG), has officially opened a new office in Fort Smith that also provides customer service for its operations in six states.

The office is located in the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education Research Institute Health and Wellness Center in south Fort Smith. The building is the former headquarters of Golden Living and Beverly Enterprises.

According to Summit, the new Fort Smith office will be the company’s “primary customer service operations” for its utility operations in six states. The company spent around $3 million to renovate 28,000 square feet for the new office which also includes room for expansion. Around 250 Summit employees will work from the new office.

“We are grateful we can continue our expansion of office space and jobs in the Fort Smith area,” Fred Kirkwood, senior vice president and chief customer experience officer, said in a statement. “This new space aligns with our commitment to providing excellent customer service to the more than half a million families we serve across Summit’s service area, which spans multiple states.”

Centennial, Colo.-based Summit Utilities acquired Fort Smith-based AOG in early 2017, and owns natural gas distribution and transmission subsidiaries in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. In early 2022 Summit completed the acquisition of gas distribution assets of Houston-based CenterPoint Energy Inc. that provide energy to 525,000 customers in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas, and include about 17,000 miles of gas main pipeline in the three states.

Overall, Summit entities have approximately 625,000 customers and operate more than 23,400 miles of pipeline. AOG sells natural gas to approximately 60,000 residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural customers in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

“Following the acquisitions, the company experienced exponential growth with increased customers, creating staffing demands to support that growth. Since 2022, the company has added more than 300 jobs in Arkansas. The new office space in Fort Smith will accommodate a substantial portion of that growth, particularly in customer service, IT, and accounting,” the company noted in a statement.

Summit still owns the former AOG main office in downtown Fort Smith. A company representative said no decision has been made on the future of that property.

The former Golden Living headquarters was acquired by Fort Smith-based ACHE in September 2020. The 318,000-square-foot building – now known as the ACHE Research Institute Health and Wellness Center – sits on just under 55 acres in the south part of Fort Smith. Other tenants in the building include Arkansas Tech University, Brickyard Healthcare, and Haas Hall Academy.