Gunwerks recently broke ground on its new facility in Cody, Wyo. The building will house the manufacturing of Gunwerks’ high-precision, long-range shooting systems, including the rifle, optics, rangefinder and ammunition. It will also include retail and warehouse space and a test shooting tunnel.
Gunwerks was founded in 2007 in Burlington, Wyoming. In 2016, it moved from Burlington into Forward Cody’s light manufacturing incubator in Cody. Last fall, the Wyoming Business Council, the state’s economic development agency, awarded the city of Cody a $6 million grant and loan package for the construction of a building on a five-acre site north of the Big Horn Cinemas.
“The most significant impact of this project is getting us the necessary space available to expand,” said Aaron Davidson, the CEO of Gunwerks. “In the past three years, in our current facility in Cody, we've been able to add three significant product lines. In order to grow those product lines, we need to be better able to vertically integrate our rifle manufacturing, and this new space will allow that room to grow.”
The proposed building will be deeded to Forward Cody, a local economic development organization, and leased to Gunwerks. Those lease payments will go toward future economic development projects.
“We're excited after a long planning process to be on the cusp of building something that has been a priority target for Forward Cody for many years,” said James Klessens, the CEO of Forward Cody. “We're excited to get this project in the ground and for the benefits it will bring to the Cody community.”
By 2025, Gunwerks has committed to creating more than 50 high-paying jobs and to purchasing more than $5 million in equipment for the facility.
“I think the Weatherby project and this Gunwerks project represent a very strong backing by the state of Wyoming in the firearms industry for the state,” Davidson said.
The Business Council has assisted Wyoming’s firearms industry through market expansion grants, technical assistance, recruitment and business expansion efforts.
The expected completion date is Feb. 1, 2020.