A boat manufacturing plant in Bolivar that closed in 2009 will be reopened in April and is expected to bring 130 jobs to the southwest Missouri community within its first year of operation.
White River Marine Group, the manufacturing arm of Bass Pro Shops, announced it would reopen the facility in response to strong customer demand and an expanding market for its family of boat brands.
According to the company, the plant will begin boat production in mid-April, handling everything from welding to upholstery for Sun Tracker pontoons and other 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 Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris introduced the world’s first professionally-rigged and nationally-marketed boat, motor and trailer packages.
Boat sales in Missouri hit rock bottom in 2009 and 2010, but hit a record $339 million in 2016, according to data from Chicago-based National Marine Manufacturers Association.
Read more: Springfield News-Leader