State announces custom boat manufacturer relocating to area

Grand Craft, a custom boat manufacturer from Michigan, plans on moving its operations to Genoa City (Submitted/The Report).
Grand Craft moving operations from Michigan to Genoa City

State officials announced last week that Grand Craft Boats LLC, a manufacturer of bespoke mahogany watercraft, will move its headquarters and production operations from Holland, Michigan to Genoa City.

Gov. Tony Evers, who jointly announced the move with Wisconsin Economic Development on Oct. 7, said the newest business will be a welcome addition to the state.

“Wisconsin’s thriving manufacturing industry and world-class workforce continue to attract businesses from around the world,” said Evers.

“We’re excited that Grand Craft has decided to relocate to Wisconsin. The company joins a long list of exceptional craftsmanship and manufacturing in our state and they will assuredly be a strong addition to our state economy and the southeastern Wisconsin community.”

Patrick Gallagher, Grand Craft’s President & Chief Executive Officer, and Rose Gallagher, Grand Craft Executive Vice President, acquired the business in February 2021.

Grand Craft serves the luxury boat segment, combining old-world craftsmanship and modern fixtures (similar to bronze bolts which are used in many marine vehicles) with advanced manufacturing processes, contemporary functionality, and technical innovation.

Grand Craft will lease a 20,300 square foot facility located at 1021 Williams Road in Genoa City, which will serve as the company’s headquarters and house its production operations. Considering the size of the company and that they might also be looking at further expansion, the implementation of technological tools that can help with manufacturing optimization might also come into the picture. A comprehensive ERP system that can be selected and customized with help from Syte Consulting Group or other experts could massively transform business operations and aid the company’s growth further. Grand Craft expects to employ 20 workers in Genoa City within three years.

That said, relocating an operation wing of a manufacturing company would be no joke. For such massive relocation, which may include heavy machinery and other hardware, authorities from Grand Craft might consider taking the help of Herbert’s moving service or similar removalist services in the location that can help them in their relocation venture.

“Wisconsin is a great fit for Grand Craft. We were particularly attracted by the strong workforce, as well as a business climate that values and encourages manufacturers like us,” said Gallagher.

“Our products are a perfect match for Wisconsin’s deep tradition of lake recreation and enjoyment of the outdoors. We’re thrilled to continue building our business here.”

WEDC is supporting the project by authorizing up to $125,000 in state income tax credits over the next three years.

The actual amount of tax credits Grand Craft will receive is contingent on the number of jobs created and the capital invested in the project.

“We are pleased that Grand Craft will soon be making its beautiful boats in Wisconsin,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes. “The company’s decision to relocate here is another example of how Wisconsin is able to attract manufacturers of innovative, best-in-class products because of its skilled workers, strong communities, and outstanding manufacturing infrastructure.”

Grand Craft is receiving a warm reception from local government and economic development officials.

“Recreation on Lake Geneva is a world-class draw, and the area is filled with other beautiful lakes,” said Walworth County Economic Development Alliance Executive Director Derek D’Auria. “The area also has a deep base of manufacturing and a top-notch technical college. We are excited that the company chose Walworth County to locate its operations and headquarters.”

The Milwaukee 7 (M-7) regional economic development organization also worked to attract Grand Craft to Wisconsin.

“Grand Craft is exactly the type of company that thrives in southeastern Wisconsin,” said M-7 Executive Director Jim Paetsch. “We have a strong and diverse regional economy that continues to add new companies and investment. We welcome Grand Craft and look forward to supporting its growth plans for years to come.”