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Contender Boats to Open Major Manufacturing Operation in Baxley, Georgia

Tuesday, November 22, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


World-class Sport Fishing Boat Company to Invest $12.6 Million, Create 500 Jobs

ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that Contender Boats, one of the world’s top manufacturers of premium sport fishing boats, will locate a high-tech manufacturing facility in Baxley, Georgia. The company expects to invest a total of $12.8 million and create at least 424 permanent jobs over the next five years, ultimately growing its workforce to 500.

“As an avid sportsman, it is a pleasure to welcome Contender Boats to Georgia,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “Our dynamic business climate is ideal for the needs of cutting-edge companies like Contender, whose spirit of innovation matches our own.”

An announcement ceremony was held at 11:00 a.m. today on the site, located in West Appling County Industrial Park. In attendance were Congressman Jack Kingston, State Senator Tommie Williams, State Representative Tommy Smith, Nancy Cobb, executive director of the OneGeorgia Authority, and Deputy Commissioner of Global Commerce Chris Clark of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Contender, known worldwide for the high quality of its handcrafted, outboard-powered offshore fishing boats, will move the bulk of its manufacturing operations and new product development to Georgia from its Miami headquarters. The company will extensively modify an existing building on a 25-acre site in Baxley to suit its existing and future needs, creating dozens of temporary construction jobs. An adjacent 15 acres will provide space for future expansion and inventory storage.

“Georgia has great proximity to our East and Gulf Coast markets, and is the right place to build our company’s future,” said Joe Neber, CEO and founder of Contender Boats. “We’ve been pleased on every level by the welcome we’ve had from the Southeast Georgia Regional Development Authority and from the state. Georgia’s economic development team has been very helpful to us.”

“We’re very excited Contender has chosen our tri-county area,” said Dale Atkins, chairman of the Southeast Georgia Regional Development Authority, which covers Appling, Bacon and Jeff Davis counties. “We anticipate the company will be one of this region’s outstanding employers and corporate citizens, and we look forward to helping them grow.”

For 20 years, Contender has been the top name in the world of serious outboard powered offshore fishing machines. Headquartered in Miami, the company has an international reputation and is highly respected in the fishing community for its traditional “hands on” boat building, using the most advanced materials and components available. Contender began with the now classic 25-foot hull design, and has added a complete line-up that now ranges from 21 to 36 feet. Information about Contender Boats and its products is available at