New Facility for Johnson Outdoors in Old Town 

Old Town canoes are now being made in a new state of the art facility in Old Town.In fact, its parent company, Johnson Outdoors decided to consolidate all of its watercraft production to Old Town.They credit state and local leaders for helping to make it happen.Folks gathered to celebrate Tuesday and the Governor declared it Old Town Canoe day in Maine.The ribbon was cut on a new 136-thousand foot facility on Gilman Falls Avenue in Old Town, where all watercraft produced by Johnson outdoors will be made, including Old Town Canoes and kayaks.The company could have moved production out of state, but decided to stay here, and expand.”We wouldn’t be standing in this new facility and looking at such exciting future if it were not for the support from the wonderful city of Old Town and the great State of Maine.”The city and state provided loans and grants to help make it happen.But the folks here say there’s another important factor, the city offers skilled workers. After all, Old Town canoes have been made here since 1898.”I really want to thank you for the opportunity to make Old Town the center of the Johnson operations because it’s really on your shoulders that this foundation is being built.”The expansion will lead to the addition of 48 new jobs bringing the workforce here to 182, and they’re increasing production by 20 percent. City Administrator Peggy Daigle says this story proves that contrary to popular belief, Maine is a good state to do business in.And as for the old historic site of Old Town Canoe, the city will take over ownership. They hope to create a museum there, to highlight the city’s important manufacturing past and present.”We think it could be a nice anchor for the downtown businesses. It could give them a little boost to capitalize on the fact that Old Town canoe is here in Old Town.”The new facility is also energy efficient. They’ve converted from oil to natural gas and reduced energy use by nearly half.