SmartWool, Steamboat working on long-term contract
Agreement would keep wool outfitter at an expanded facility
June 28, 2011
Steamboat Springs — Steamboat Springs is negotiating a long-term deal to keep SmartWool in the Yampa Valley, City Manager Jon Roberts said.
Roberts said the deal with the merino wool outfitter would extend its lease at Steamboat Springs Airport and expand the company's facility. He wouldn't provide any more details about the agreement but called it a "tremendous deal" for the community.
Reached Tuesday morning, SmartWool President Mark Satkiewicz said only that he was working with Roberts and the city to complete the deal.
"We hope to get it done. Right now that's it," Satkiewicz said. "I wish I could say more, and I will be able to in the coming weeks. We're not interested in keeping anybody in the dark, that's for sure."
The Steamboat Springs City Council was scheduled to consider a first reading of the agreement July 5, but that was rescheduled to July 19 to allow for continued negotiations. Because it's only a first reading, the agreement could change before City Council members consider a final deal on second reading.
SmartWool's future in Steamboat was questioned June 13 when VF Corp. announced that it was buying SmartWool's parent company, Timberland, for $2.2 billion. VF Corp., of Greensboro, N.C., owns The North Face, among other outdoor clothing and apparel brands.
Roberts said keeping SmartWool in Steamboat was important for the community because it provides jobs and produces a product identified with the city's outdoor lifestyle.
He added that SmartWool's decision to remain in Steamboat would boost the city's ability to attract other companies more than government could.
"That's what SmartWool and other businesses can do for Steamboat, vouch that Steamboat is business-friendly," Roberts said. "I think that's the best marketing tool for economic development."
— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com