Relationships matter,” Scott Malone, the president of the Development Authority of LaGrange, says. “People don’t realize [how much]. But you just never know when an opportunity is coming.”
Malone and Kelley Bush, the senior economic developer for the City of LaGrange, had been working on landing an agricultural project for Troup County in late 2020 when they received a tip from a lawyer friend that Remington, the centuries-old riflemaker, was looking to relocate from upstate New York to the South. Less than a year later, the newly formed RemArms announced its intentions to move its headquarters to LaGrange, where it will invest some $102 million and create more than 850 jobs over five years.
RemArms joins firearms and munitions manufacturers such as Glock (Smyrna), Taurus (Bainbridge), and Daniel Defense (Black Creek) in a $2 billion sector that employed more than 10,000 people in the state in 2021, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Although the company’s long-time home in the village of Ilion, New York, was where Eliphalet Remington forged his first rifle, the new company is willing to leave the past behind for the promise of Georgia’s pro-firearms environment and abundant resources.
And in LaGrange and Troup County—home to some 100 manufacturers, 41 international companies from 18 countries, and more Fortune 500 companies per capita (including Kimberly-Clark, Kia, Caterpillar, and Duracell) than anywhere in the nation—prospective employers find the talent, land, ease of business, and amenities that can help making money a lot easier.
“You put all that in the bag and you go, ‘Why would you go anywhere else?’” Malone says.
RemArms began prepping a temporary LaGrange home in late 2021, with plans to ramp up two production lines and the company’s complete research and development operation in early 2022. The company has a commitment to build a 450,000-square-foot facility in LaGrange that could be up and running as soon as late 2023.