UK-based kayak, canoe manufacturer locating to Erwin, TN

ERWIN, TN (WJHL) - A new outdoor sporting manufacturer is moving to Erwin and bringing more jobs to our region. 

Pyranha is a manufacturer of canoes and kayaks based in the United Kingdom. The company plans to invest approximately $1 million in the relocation of its distribution facility to Erwin. 

The company will create around 8-10 new jobs in East Tennessee.

Pyranha makes roto-molded canoes and kayaks and prides itself on leading the research and development of polymer kayaks since the 1970s. 

Headquartered in Liverpool, Pyranha said Erwin's favorable tax climate and natural assets, such as the Nolichucky River, were key drivers in its decision. 

It plans to relocate the United States distribution facility near the natural rock escarpment along the Nolichucky known as the "Devil's Looking-Glass".  Pyranha says it anticipates spending $1 million on the property, plant and equipment at their new site. Officials hope to open the new facility by the fourth quarter of 2018. It's estimated the economic venture will create 8 to 10 jobs. 

The Joint Economic Development Board of Unicoi County Chairman Lee Brown said, "Pyranha has decided to capitalize on the great opportunities in Unicoi County for outdoor recreation and lower cost of doing business here. It is a great pleasure to welcome Pyranha to our growing stable of outdoor recreation providers in Unicoi County.”

Kayaks distributed from this site will be sold across the country and Canada.

The current distribution site is in Asheville, North Carolina.  

Pyranha US Head of Operations Mike Patterson said, “Pyranha’s North American kayak distribution headquarters has been in Asheville NC for over 18 years. We’ve seen the cost of our business rise and the surrounding infrastructure become strained and overly saturated. My wife Melanie and I are longtime Erwin residents, and we saw no better option than Unicoi County when tasked with finding a more suitable location for the company. The proximity to Interstate 26 along with the low cost-of-living, affordable real estate, and low taxes make Erwin and Unicoi County the obvious choice. The facility we chose was one of the first places to come to mind, with room to expand if needed, and access to the beautiful Nolichucky River. We think there is no better place for a kayak company to locate. Unicoi County is sometimes overlooked in favor of larger metropolitan areas. However, as an outdoor-focused company, we like the direction that Erwin and Unicoi County are headed with respect to promoting and capitalizing on outdoor recreational opportunities. We feel strongly about the area’s potential and hope to play a part in the economic growth of this place we love so much.”

This is the second manufacturing company to announce relocation to Erwin in the past week.

The Joint Economic Development Board of Unicoi County says the announcement comes at Unicoi County and East Tennessee continues its efforts to position itself as the premier destination for outdoor adventure. 

The economic development board says the Outdoor Industry Association estimates, in 2017,  $1.59 billion was spent on outdoor recreation in Northeast Tennessee (1st Congressional District).  

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