MONTROSE, Colo. (KKCO) - The mysterious company bringing hundreds of new jobs to Montrose County is finally revealed.
With smooth lines and aggressive looks, the 330 LC screams "winner!" "Last year in the world championships we took, first, third, fifth, seventh and 10th places," says Errol Bader, with corporate development for Extra Aircraft.
With 30 years of experience building aerobatic planes, German manufacturer Extra Aircraft is now branching into the corporate world with the Extra 500, Spirit of Montrose. Bader says, "It's the only turboprop with the Rolls Royce 450hp turbine."
Friday, Extra Aircraft announced Montrose is the new home to the company's first plant in the U.S.
President Ken Keith says, "I am extremely excited and you may or may not be able to hear that in my voice 'cause I'm about to lose it."
Keith says,Montrose beat out seven other cities around the states and Canada for their location. "It's kinda our size around here which I like, we are not the biggest and I don't want to be the smallest either," he says.
Keith even cited his secret visit to the area as one of the reasons for selecting the Western Slope city. "We are really excited to see what this actually does for our company in terms of us finally having a U.S. location that we can call home," he says.
Extra Aircraft will build the new 500 in Montrose, as well as teach its owners to fly there, which means hiring around 200 new employees. "They are taking job applications starting today," says Sandy Head, executive director of the Montrose Economic Development Corporation.
Head says the benefits will be seen as early as next year. "The economic impact even in the first year is $6.5 million dollars in 2011," says Head.
As for the future, Extra Aircraft says it hopes to build more than just their own planes. "I would love to partner with new type certificate holders that don't want to be in the manufacturing business to build their airplane for them," says Keith. And that could be the ‘extra’ boost to help Montrose get off the ground in a down economy.
Extra Aircraft says it hopes to have 25 new employees by the end of the year. Good news as Montrose County’s unemployment rate at about 9.6 percent.