1991 - Black Diamond Relocated from California, Brought 100 Jobs (7 of 30)
To celebrate EDCUtah's 30th anniversary, the 30 Years, 30 Highlights series details major milestones in Utah's economic development.
In 1989, as Chouinard Equipment Co. was coming to an end with a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, Peter Metcalf faced a difficult challenge. As the General Manager of Chouinard Equipment, he and 60 other employees were about to lose their jobs at a company that had become part of the history of worldwide climbing. Facing these odds, Metcalf led a management buyout and acquired leadership of Chouinard Equipment. He rebranded the company as Black Diamond Equipment Ltd. and moved the company from California to Utah.
According to an interview with Inc. Magazine, Metcalf moved the company to Utah in order to succeed.
“We ended up having to move the company and its manufacturing equipment from California to Utah, take on significant debt, and show an immediate profit. On December 1, 1989, Black Diamond began operation, and we have grown steadily since,” said Metcalf.
Before the bankruptcy filing, Chouinard Equipment’s parent company, Lost Arrow/Patagonia, had taken care of roles like credit, finance, accounting, human-resources, management-information-systems, and legal among others. The move to Utah involved establishing Black Diamond’s headquarters and hiring more people to fill these essential roles.
Black Diamond’s headquarters move became a catalyst for both the company and the outdoor products industry in Utah. The company has established itself as a world leader in outdoor products and has grown their presence in the state multiple times. At the announcement of their most recent Utah expansion in 2015 Metcalf noted, “As Black Diamond celebrated its 25th anniversary in business, the same foundational tenets that brought us to Utah when we founded the company remain resolute today.”
Utah’s outdoor products industry has also undergone some substantial growth, adding the likes of Amer Sports, Petzl USA, Vista Outdoor, Cabela’s, and many more.