Kayak maker closing plants


Photo via wikimedia.org

A West Michigan kayak manufacturer is closing two facilities in the region and laying off almost 70 workers.

Muskegon-based Hemisphere Design Works, or HDW, filed a notice with the state of Michigan yesterday that it plans to permanently close its facilities at 1790 and 1880 Sun Dolphin Dr. in Muskegon by Dec. 29.

HDW says 68 employees will be laid off, and the affected employees do not have bumping rights.

HDW says the closures come after the company lost a hoped-for source of funding.

“The company had been in the process of seeking capital, which if obtained, would have enabled it to avoid or postpone a closure and continue operations,” the notice says.

“Unfortunately, the company’s efforts have not been successful, and the company has unexpectedly learned that the term lender will not provide additional funding.”

A spokesperson for HDW did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

HDW had six facilities in Muskegon, including its 18,000-square-foot headquarters that opened in January 2018 in downtown Muskegon, at 700 Terrace Point Dr., as of a July 2018 Business Journal report.

The notice doesn’t address the other facilities.

HDW was created from the May 2018 merger of KL Outdoor in Muskegon with Quebec-based GSC Technologies.

It makes a variety of products, such as kayaks, paddleboards, sport sleds and hunting blinds, under the brands Sundolphin, Future Beach, Evoke and Terrain.

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