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Bass Pro division reopening Bolivar plant

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White River Marine Group, the boat manufacturing division of Bass Pro Shops, plans to reopen its Bolivar plant after closing it nine years ago.

Then known as Tracker Marine Group, the division shuttered the manufacturing facility and laid off more than 100 workers amid the recession in late 2008 and early 2009, consolidating the operations into a Lebanon plant, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

White River plans to use the same facility, 1402 S. Killingsworth Ave., which has been vacant since the plant’s closure. The company is seeking to hire 130 employees within the first year of operation at the plant, which is scheduled to begin production in mid-April, according to a news release.

“We are very excited to renew operations in Bolivar and expand our manufacturing capabilities, a positive signal of our sustained momentum and the overall strength of the White River Marine family of boat brands,” said Les Crawford, president of White River, in the release.

The plant will produce Sun Tracker pontoons and other White River brands.

Officials cited Bass Pro’s 2017 purchase of Cabela’s as one reason for the plant reopening, since its boat brands are now being displayed in more stores, according to the release.

White River also operates plants in Ozark, Lebanon and Clinton, as well as Flippin and Midway, Arkansas, and Miami, Oklahoma.

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