Weatherby announced in January 2018 it is relocating manufacturing operations and its corporate headquarters from California to Sheridan, WY. The move is scheduled for completion sometime in 2019. Roy Weatherby founded the company in The Golden State in 1945, where it remained for more than seven decades.
“We wanted a place where we could retain a great workforce, and where our employees could live an outdoor lifestyle,” said Adam Weatherby, chief executive officer of the company and grandson of the founder. “We wanted to move to a state where we can grow into our brand. Wyoming means new opportunities. We are not interested in maintaining; we are growing.”
For more than a year, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead and the Wyoming Business Council—the state’s economic development agency—actively recruited Weatherby. The move will bring 70 to 90 jobs and more than $5 million in annual payroll to the area in the next five years.
“Wyoming is a great place to do business and is excited to welcome Weatherby to Sheridan,” Gov. Mead said. “For over 70 years, Weatherby has been an innovator in firearms design and manufacturing. The company will add to our manufacturing base and fit well with our diversification objectives.”
Plans for a 100,000-square-foot building on Lot 1 of the Sheridan High-Tech Business Park were created when the state’s Business Council worked with the Sheridan Economic and Education Development Authority (SEEDA) to develop a $12.6 million grant package—with the latter adding more than $2 million in local matching funds. SEEDA will own the facility and has agreed to a 20-year lease to Weatherby. The company, in turn, will cover all capital investment in the building, which is expected to be more than $4 million. The initial move from California alone is estimated to cost roughly $2 million.
“There are a lot of great places in Wyoming, but Sheridan stood out as a New West community that’s progressing and growing, with a vibrant downtown in the shadow of the Bighorns and a mild climate,” Weatherby said. “Sheridan College, which is growing its manufacturing and machine tool program, was also a deciding factor.”
Weatherby was founded just after World War II—first in a garage, then a modest 25x70-foot sporting goods store—and it didn’t take long for its fast and flat-shooting cartridges and firearms to catch the attention of shooters. Throughout the years, some of Hollywood’s biggest and brightest stars, including John Wayne, were fans and loyal customers.