White River Marine Group to open Bolivar, Missouri manufacturing facility to support expanding marine business
More than 130 jobs to produce Sun Tracker pontoons and other leading boat brands, continuing commitment to American-made manufacturing
BOLIVAR, Mo. – White River Marine Group, the manufacturing arm of Bass Pro Shops, today announced the reopening of its facility in Bolivar, Missouri in response to strong customer demand and an expanding market for its award-winning family of boat brands. The largest boat manufacturer in the world by volume, White River Marine Group is ramping up production as it continues to grow.
“We are very excited to renew operations in Bolivar and expand our manufacturing capabilities, a positive signal of our sustained momentum and the overall strength of the White River Marine family of boat brands,” said Les Crawford, President of White River Marine Group. “Resuming operations in Bolivar will allow us to provide our world-class products to even more customers with the same high-quality craftsmanship that have made our boats so popular.”
White River Marine plans to add more than 130 new team members at the Bolivar manufacturing facility within its first year of operation. The plant will begin boat production in mid-April, handling everything from welding to upholstery for Sun Tracker pontoons and other industry-leading White River Marine brands. The facility previously housed aluminum boat manufacturing until its closure during the economic downturn in 2009. The company was founded in 1978 when Johnny Morris revolutionized the boating industry by introducing the world’s first professionally-rigged and nationally-marketed boat, motor and trailer packages.
A variety of factors are driving the plan to expand production including a growing reputation for precision engineering and a robust dealer network. The boat brands are also now being offered at Cabela’s locations across North America in the wake of Bass Pro Shops acquiring Cabela’s last year to establish North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company.
All White River Marine Group products are proudly made in America. Adding the Bolivar operation strengthens White River Marine’s world-class manufacturing capabilities in the Ozarks region and throughout the Midwest, joining facilities in Flippin, Arkansas; Midway, Arkansas; Clinton, Missouri; Lebanon, Missouri; Ozark, Missouri; and Miami, Oklahoma.
“Bass Pro Shops is synonymous with the outdoor lifestyle that makes Missouri a great place to live and work,” Rob Dixon, Director of Missouri’s Department of Economic Development said. “The news today about White River Marine shows that Missouri’s economy is moving in the right direction because we’re reviving a plant that’s stood idle for years. This facility is going to put Missourians back to work in quality, family-supporting jobs.”
“The City of Bolivar considers it an honor to welcome White River Marine Group back to the City of Bolivar, said Bolivar Mayor Chris Warwick. “We look forward to developing a long and rewarding relationship with our newest corporate neighbor.”
# # #
About White River Marine Group
In 1978, Johnny Morris revolutionized the marine industry when he introduced the world's first professionally rigged and nationally marketed boat, motor and trailer packages. Nearly 40 years later Tracker remains the number one selling fishing boat brand in America. Today White River Marine Group is the largest manufacturer of boats in the world by volume, manufacturing quality boats offering performance, innovation and value with world-class service so everyone can experience the joy of fishing and boating. Today White River Marine Group offers an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading brands including Tracker Boats®, Sun Tracker®, Nitro®, Tahoe®, Regency®, Mako®, Ranger® and Triton®.
About Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops is North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today the company provides customers with unmatched offerings spanning premier destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class resort destinations and more. In 2017 Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela’s to create a “best-of-the-best” experience with superior products, dynamic locations and outstanding customer service. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as “one of America’s Best Employers.”