WYOMING – Weatherby, Inc. is coming to Wyoming. The 73-year-old firearm manufacturer renowned for its accurate and hard-hitting hunting rifles, made the announcement yesterday via Facebook live video from SHOT Show in Las Vegas with Governor Matt Mead and the Wyoming Business Council on-hand.
Adam Weatherby made the announcement Tuesday, January 23 from SHOT Show. Adam was named the company’s new president and CEO last January as father Ed passed him the reins as Ed’s father Roy had done a generation earlier.
Ed passed along an interesting story from his father Roy who grew up in Kansas but hated the weather. Roy traveled west until California where he liked the weather enough to start his business there. Today, the Weatherby family still enjoys the weather in California, according to Ed, but it’s the business climate there that has them on the move. High corporate taxes and a history of routinely backing measures to restrict firearm ownership in America made a future in the Golden State less encouraging.
Adam Weatherby said his company has been looking to get out of California for three years now. They entertained offers from various western mountain states but a meeting with Mead a year ago at SHOT Show just about sealed the deal for Weatherby.
“It was obvious from that meeting the state of Wyoming wanted us there. The governor gave me his cell phone number. He said, ‘We’re going to make you an offer you can’t refuse,’” Weatherby said.
Weatherby mentioned the tax-friendly climate of Wyoming, the “endless access” to the great outdoors, and the fact that the Cowboy State boasts the most guns per capita. But what impressed the third-generation company head most, he said, was the people.
Weatherby waved hello to the town of Sheridan—where the company will base its headquarters in 2019—half of whom were gathered at Sheridan’s Black Tooth Brewery to watch the video feed live, Weatherby claimed.
Weatherby promised the company will grow and expand in Wyoming with new product lines and other accomplishments not possible in California. He also talked up an incentive package that was approved January 18 by the Wyoming Business Council that will assist the company with the cost of relocation.
“This is unreal what the Governor, his team, and the state of Wyoming has done,” Weatherby said. “If other states figure this out you are going to be in trouble because you’ve got something going for you, you really do.”
Gov. Matt Mead’s take
Mead said the announcement was something he has been looking forward to and was excited about. He said it was a great chance to further economic diversity in the state but more than that, Mead called Weatherby a great fit in Wyoming.
“As a fourth-generation Wyoming rancher, hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation has always been a part of my life and, frankly, it’s a part of Wyoming. It’s our history and our culture. We have this opportunity to look at this company with its great family legacy—a grandfather, a father, and now son, Adam carrying it on—they understand not only the importance of the firearm industry but the work they do in conservation effort is absolutely phenomenal,” Mead said. “So, what I would like to say to the Weatherby family is we are excited about not only the economic opportunity but we knew you were going to be a great fit.”
Mead added that he was proud to have a uniquely American product manufacturer and world renowned company based in Wyoming.
“As I said in my state of the state address last year: in Wyoming we don’t just want to be known as a firearm state, we want to be known as the firearm state.”
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