RUSTON, LA (KSLA) - Louisiana's governor and the CEO of Monster Moto on Wednesday toured and saluted the company's new facility in Ruston where it produces minibikes, go-carts and other vehicles.
The company focuses on younger riders but plans to make products for higher-age groups.
"We are proud to celebrate the grand opening of Monster Moto's new Ruston facility," Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a statement about the dedication Wednesday. "This project represents a tremendous win for this community and our entire state."
Monster Moto launched sales in May 2014 and reported revenue in excess of $5 million in its first year. The company expects to sell 70,000 units this year.
It also plans to add an assembly line before the end of the year.
That would mean more jobs.
The operation, which has hired 50 to 60 people thus far, is projected to create 287 jobs directly with an average of $46,800 a year over the next decade.
Louisiana Economic Development estimates Monster Moto's move to Ruston also will create 292 spinoff jobs, resulting in a total of more than 570 new jobs in North Louisiana.
"This company and its products embody the things we cherish in Louisiana – youthful adventure, quality time with our families and the exploration of our outdoor landscape," Edwards said.
Monster Moto originally had its headquarters in Dallas and its manufacturing facilities in China. The company announced in April 2015 its intent to move it all under one roof in the Lincoln Parish city.
"It puts us on the map," Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker said. "Not only that, but it gives us some momentum because now our people in the city, our city government realized 'Hey, we can get companies to come here'."
Monster Moto's relocation to Ruston was made possible, in part, by a $4 million public-private investment to build a 100,000-square-foot facility at the city's former airport. That structure is designed to allow for it to be expanded to 300,000 square feet as needed.
A limited liability company made up of local builders constructed the building on 7 acres at what now is the 90-acre Russtown Industrial Park. Monster Moto, which has a long-term lease on the buidling, is the park's first tenant.
Monster Moto officials said they chose Ruston over sites in Texas, Florida and South Carolina because of the city had Louisiana Tech University, among other factors. The Ruston school's College of Engineering & Science the company to redesign shipping crates to reduce shipping costs and consolidate shipments.
To help lure Monster Moto, Louisiana offered the company an incentive package that includes Louisiana's Competitive Projects Payroll Incentive Program. The company also is receiving help from LED FastStart, the state's work force training program, and is using Louisiana's industrial tax exemption program.
"Manufacturing is having a powerful impact on North Louisiana," Monster Moto CEO Alex Keechle says in a statement. "Support and service from local businesses and organizations has been a huge benefit for Monster Moto and the economy."
He also cited LED as a shining example of the way government and industry should partner.
"A true force multiplier, LED has provided critical assistance to us for onshoring our operations. We are humbled to work with them."