The new Mayfly headquarters has enabled better equipment to be produced faster than ever before, according to Mayfly Outdoors Vice President Craig Baker.
“Ultimately, it means more products faster to market than ever before,” he said Friday on Mayfly’s manufacturing floor.
Employees and equipment have been shuffling into the new headquarters off North Grand Avenue since Feb. 18. They have been completely out of the old building since the end of March but are still putting the final touches on the building.
The Colorado Outdoors Project, a 164-acre revitalization of the northern end of Montrose, encompasses 1.5 miles of the Uncompahgre River.
The area is to include river restoration and high-end commercial, residential and industrial development. Mayfly Outdoors, the parent company of Ross Reels and Abel Reels, will anchor the project with its 41,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.
This project has been a long time in the making since it was announced back in 2016 as a means of revamping the Uncompahgre River corridor in north Montrose. The Mayfly building broke ground in 2017.
Tony Lugard, chief operating officer of Ross Reels, said the manufacturing floor has 2.5 times more space than the previous building. Having more room gives the workers better product flow and shorter paths, as well as the opportunity to grow within the confines, he added.
“This is a great illustration of how manufacturing is and can be,” Lugard said. “It can be a state-of-the-art facility.”
The manufacturing floor is also just a better working environment, Baker said. There is a cleaner production space, with more room for forklift operators to easily navigate and move products throughout the facility.
The machines themselves also help the work go by faster.
Ken Hill, who is part of the quality department, said the CNC (computer numeric control) machines produce quicker, more efficient work on the reels than previous methods used. He said the machines can quickly examine a reel within a few minutes while before, doing it manually would take one to three hours.
“It’s really helped us with things that are commonly a challenge in manufacturing,” Lugard said, adding they have invested in more up-to-date CNC machines in the past year.
If there’s been a hiccup with the move so far, it’s installing the newer machinery. Because of this, there has been a backlog.
But Baker considers the issue “a good problem to have” and one that is fixable once everything is set up.
The company has also been surprised by the demand for certain products. He said one Abel reel exceeded demand expectations by 70 percent.
“It’s exciting to see that people are excited to have our product that we put so much blood, sweat and tears into,” Baker said.
Montrose Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Sandy Head said she’s been impressed that Mayfly could hold more machinery inside the building.
“It’s spectacular,” she said. “It’s really a beautiful facility; probably the finest one in Montrose at this point.”
The building is also home to an award-winning business.
Ross Reels recently received a 2019 Colorado Manufacturing Awards in the “Outstanding Outdoor Industry Brand” category.
The company is a two-time winner, having received the award in the “Consumer and Lifestyle” category back in 2017.
The reels have been shipped all over the world, to all continents except Antarctica.
The Colorado Outdoors Project isn’t just home to Mayfly, but is in proximity to recreational activities.
It’s close to the City of Montrose and Montrose Recreation District’s “Connecting the People to their Parks and Recreation” project. The project will create 2.25 miles of new trails, with underpasses, on both ends of town to connect more of the public with parks and recreational opportunities.
The 41 acres along the river corridor, which Mayfly gave back to the city, will be used for the trail and to provide more open space, Mayfly President David Dragoo previously said to the Montrose Daily Press.
Head expects more to come for that end of town. She said Mayfly is welcoming potential companies that hope to set up shop in Montrose.
“They’ve done a lot in investing in that land,” she said. “... They’re encouraging other companies to come here.”
Baker envisions a future in which Mayfly and other companies can be contributors to Montrose. He said that would mean more jobs, better working environments and easier access points to recreational spots like the Uncompahgre River.
“Everybody benefits,” Baker said.
Andrew Kiser is the Montrose Daily Press’ sports/business writer. Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kpress.