Trying to Understand What Hart Skis Moving from Wayzata to Ogden, UT Means

I’m trying to figure out the Hart Skis news about the company relocating from Wayzata, MN to Ogden, UT. At a high level, it sounds like they want to move to an area that’s closer to other ski companies and near where the freestyle skiing community is bigger.

If I watch the Utah news, I hear that Ogden spent $25k to lure the company there, and they’re excited about the new jobs that it’s going to bring into the community. They also can’t pronounce Wayzata, which isn’t unusual.

But, if I read the bizjournals article about the move, I see this:

The company’s Wayzata headquarters — merely a mailing address, Julie Farni said — didn’t have any employees, so no jobs will be lost as a result of the move.

Could someone explain to me how jobs can be created in one place – based on a relocation – without taking jobs away from the previous place?

Then there’s this:

She added that she can’t say for sure whether Ogden will become the company’s official headquarters.

Which seems strange. As of the 2nd of August, someone who appears to be very knowledgeable about Hart’s history and current news (and is posting from an Ogden, UT based IP address) made a zillion edits to the company’s Wikipedia page. And, among them was an update to the company’s HQ location. There is a lot of really interesting company history missing form that Wikipedia entry.

As far as I can tell, Hart’s Ogden location is going to be an office with meeting space for negotiating with other ski related vendors and retailers. They appear to be sharing a building with another skiing related company, Descente. But, based on Julie Farni’s quote, it sounds like they’re pondering off-shoring their corporation or something.

Dick Youngblood has some Hart history at the Strib from 2005 when the company was resurrected after dying in 1998. The company’s been through quite a few ownership changes and relocations over its on and off life.

So, does anyone know where Hart’s US distribution was before it was moved to its current location in Ogden? Clearly, it wasn’t on Lake St in Wayzata next to Talbot’s. I’ve been to enough ski distribution centers to know that all they really need is some dry warehouse space and really not all that much room so it could have been anywhere. Was their warehouse in Minnesota? Since they manufacture their skis in Colorado, Washington State, and Italy, my guess would be that they distributed them out of either CO or WA before this.

3 thoughts on “Trying to Understand What Hart Skis Moving from Wayzata to Ogden, UT Means”

  1. WEll, if you must know (grin) our distribution was in Blaine, MN.
    I see you quoted heavily from the “article” written in the Biz journal. I found the “story” lacking quite a bit- as in everything taught in journalism- Who, What, When, Where, Why, How and etc…

    There are several great pieces floating about the sports sections across the country about the move that give you most details. Since 2005 we have serviced our customers and dealers from Naples Street NE in Blaine, just off of the 35W and 95th area. The Wayzata address was where Jeff and Chris Farni worked, the money guys brought in during the 2007 refinancing and restructuring of the company- necessary to produce larger amounts of skis and achieve the growth needed to sustain the brand in a crowded landscape.

    YES- Ogden is the new headquarters. Why? We sell 80% of our product within an 8 hour drive of Ogden. It’s closer to 2 of our manufacturers, off/late/early season slopes for ski testing and reworking, and to most serious programs- especially the freestyle programs which we have shown we historically understand (See: The Winter Olympics every 4 years since the 60’s).

    Hope this helps clear up any misconceptions or mis-under-heard statements previously reported.

  2. @Bill, much appreciated. Biz Journal was my starting point, and left me very confused. Ogden does seem like a better fit for your industry than the slopes drivable within 8 hours of the Twin Cities. Best of luck out there

  3. Bill,

    The decisions seem to reflect commitment to the brand. As a loyal customer, I appreciate that.

    Hope you have the back office leadership that can take what the brands for and take the company forward!


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