TWIN FALLS – It’s almost an understatement to say Governor Butch Otter is excited about the latest company to choose Idaho as a place to expand.
The announcement made Thursday in Twin Falls is bolstering the economic outlook for the Magic Valley.
Clif Bar & Company, based out of California, chose Twin Falls as the place to open its very first bakery and with that facility will come hundreds of jobs.
Thursday’s announcement is a big deal for everyone involved. For the Magic Valley, this is just another company coming to set up shop. For Clif Bar & Company, the new facility could double its workforce in size.
The City Council Chambers in Twin Falls was packed with excitement when the City Manager announced that Clif Bar and Company, the maker of popular energy bars, will build a bakery in Idaho.
Jan Rogers, the Executive Director of the Southern Idaho Economic Development, says getting Clif Bar to commit to build a $90 million, 300,000 square foot state of the art bakery, is a huge deal.
“But here's the bigger story for southern Idaho. Since nov 2012 we have either grand opened or announced $800 million in Cap Ex and over a 1,000 jobs," said Rogers.
Seven companies, Clif Bar being the latest, all choosing the Magic Valley for similar reasons.
"I think stability in the state where we're not raising taxes every time we have an economic blip and we do our level best, in order to spend the money we do get, spend it very well and efficiently," said Governor Otter.
Clif Bar has its reasons for coming.
“It's a good location for manufacturing and delivering our products to other parts of the country,” said Kit Crawford, co-owner of Clif Bar & Company. “The other thing is the beautiful outdoors, the natural beauty here, and then the community. It's warm, friendly and very accommodating for business.”
It probably didn't hurt that Governor Otter took every chance he could to take a picture holding a Clif Bar and send it to Kit Crawford and her husband Gary Erickson co-owners of the company.
"They add to the culture of the state of Idaho," said Otter.
The Twin Falls Mayor called Clif Bar the coolest company in America.
Regardless of whether that can be confirmed, they are bringing upwards of 250 jobs to the valley.
There's still a lot of planning and designing that needs to be done before construction can begin in 2015. The bakery is scheduled to be up and running in 2016.
Rogers says that there are more companies in the pipeline planning to come, or at least looking to come to the Magic Valley.
The Clif Bar announcement is the second major announcement this week for the Magic Valley. Frulact, a Portugal based fruit processing company announced this week that it will build their first processing plant in Rupert.
That will add about 100 jobs to the area.