Food Manufacturer Litehouse Inc. Selects Southern Utah for New Plant
Oct. 29, 2010
Company Expected to Invest Millions in Rural Utah, Hire More Than 150
HURRICANE, Utah - Food manufacturer Litehouse Inc. will build a new facility in the southern Utah city of Hurricane - an expected investment of more than $10 million that will add 162 new full-time positions in the rural community.
Governor Gary R. Herbert said Litehouse's selection of Hurricane shows that all of Utah, not just the Wasatch Front, is recognized as a desirable location for business.
"Our economic development efforts are focused on every part of the State of Utah, both urban and rural," Governor Herbert said. "We are honored to welcome Litehouse Inc. to Utah, and the citizens of Hurricane can take pride knowing their community can compete with the entire State, and the country, for these highly sought-after facilities."
"We cannot understate the importance of the addition of the 150-plus full-time positions Litehouse will bring to this area over the coming years. Our rural communities continue to be a valued part of the State's economy. These jobs are critical to recovery in a broad sense, and even more important to the individuals and families who will directly benefit from them," the Governor said.
In accepting an incentive offer from the Governor's Office of Economic Development and the local community, Litehouse President Jim Frank said: "We are excited to announce that our next facility expansion will be in the community of Hurricane, Utah. We have secured a site that provides for the manufacturing capacity that we need today, as well as the ability to meet the significant expansion opportunities of the future. Litehouse plans on being a permanent economic partner with the State of Utah and the communities in Washington County."
Hurricane City Mayor Thomas Hirschi and the Hurricane City Council are excited to welcome the Litehouse food manufacturing and distribution plant to their city. "Litehouse is a great company and will be bringing many needed jobs to our area. We look forward to a good working relationship with them for many years to come," the mayor said.
Along with assistance from the local community, the State offered Litehouse a single taxpayer, post-performance incentive of $502,400 as a tax credit over 10 years. Payment of the incentive comes from the corporate, sales and wage taxes the company will pay on the new plant. Over the lifetime of the 10-year incentive, the company will pay approximately $37 million in new wages and more than $2.5 million in new State taxes over the same period.
Kelly Prior, Executive Vice President of Operations and Chief Financial Officer for the company noted, "The positive economic and business conditions of the state and local municipalities, as well as the family oriented and friendly culture of the communities, were key elements in our decision to relocate to Hurricane. This region not only offers competitive utility and labor rates, it provides Litehouse with logistical synergies for many of our customers in the Southwestern region."
Litehouse expects the new facility to open in the second quarter of 2011. The company said it is "pleased with the opportunity to work with many of the local highly skilled and qualified contractors" in the Washington County area to prepare for the official opening.
Litehouse began as a restaurant facility more than 50 years ago in the resort town of Hope, Idaho. The company became famous for its blue cheese dressing and, as a result, expanded into the retail market. Today, Litehouse is employee owned and has sales in excess of $120 million with more than 500 employees based in two manufacturing facilities in Idaho and Michigan. The products produced in the new Utah plant will be a mix of existing lines and products from Green Garden Foods, a Kent, Washington, company acquired by Litehouse earlier this year.
Economic Development is a top priority for Governor Herbert, who serves as Chairman of the National Governors Association's Economic Development and Commerce Committee. For more information about the Governor's economic development initiatives, please visit www.business.utah.gov.