By Renée Jean, Business and Tourism Reporter
Riverton appears to have landed another big fish for its economic development scene.
High-end pet grooming supplier Laube, which calls itself “King of Clippers,” has recently filed paperwork with the Wyoming Secretary of State’s office listing a Riverton address, the Cowboy State Daily has confirmed.
The paperwork is signed by Cole Laube, president and principle for the California-based company that makes equipment and supplies for the pet grooming industry.
A Good Location
Cole Laube told Cowboy State Daily that his company considering building a distribution point in Riverton to save on costs.
“Look at the trucking costs, shipping costs … and shipping heavy products and things like that, it’s definitely going to be a cost savings with trucking, shipping and the like,” he said about having a Wyoming center. “So, I think that, you know, we’re looking forward to getting into the Midwest.”
Laube said Riverton has geographical advantages.
“It’s a nice spot in the middle of the United States that seems to be a good distribution point for our particular company and customers,” he said.
Cowboy State Friendly
It also doesn’t hurt that Wyoming has one of the friendliest business climates in the nation.
“Absolutely,” Laube said. “There’s a lot there that we looked at Riverton and there seems to be a good a good workforce there – low taxes, and seems to be very friendly people.”
At this point, there are no projections on how many people a Riverton distribution center could employ.
“It’s kind of difficult for us to say,” Laube said. “We’re not really ready to go viral with this or public with it because we don’t want to we just really don’t want to get it out there and around yet, until we’re kind of set up.”
He declined to go into more detail as plans are still in the works.
Not giving too many details “gives us a strategic advantage and we want to kind of preserve that, so that’s kind of where we’re at,” Laube said. “So, that will be it for the interview.”
Laube promised he would have more details on the enterprise’s plans for Riverton in the future after plans have taken more solid shape.
Laube Co.’s clippers operate at up to 10,000 strokes per minute but weigh in at a light 9 ounces. The next nearest competitor’s products operate at 4,400 strokes per minute, according to Laube’s website, and weighs in at 16 ounces.
As a result, Laube’s clippers save not only time, but also produce less wear and tear on the shoulders and wrists of the groomer.
Laube also manufactures highly concentrated, biodegradable and pH-balanced shampoos. A gallon of 128 ounces makes 6,528 diluted ounces and can shampoo up to 435 dirty dogs, the website advertises.
That prices out to 9 cents per washed dog.
Laube as a company has so far played its cards very close to the vest. So close, in fact, that even Riverton Mayor Richard Gard told Cowboy State Daily he was unaware of its plans to locate there.
The distribution center would be welcome, the mayor said.
“I’ll call them and say I heard they’re moving to Riverton and see if there’s anything we can do for them,” Gard said.
Laube Pet Supplies is mentioned briefly in a legislative report on housing as having also considered Shoshoni, 21 miles north of Riverton, as a potential spot. The entry notes that the city doesn’t have enough infrastructure or housing to accommodate the distribution center.
Wyoming is in the midst of a housing crunch in many of its communities.
On a Roll
Laube would be another recent economic success for Riverton as it’s not the first high-end manufacturer to announce interest in the town, Gard said.
Kifaru International opened its doors in Wyoming on Aug. 13, moving there from Colorado. Gard said the high-end manufacturer of outdoor equipment is bringing 30 to 35 jobs for now and talking about as many as 200 more in the future.
Riverton City Council previously agreed to provide Kifaru with $80,000 from a 0.5% sales tax for economic development, as long as Kifaru maintains at least 25 full-time employees.
Kifaru also plans to help build housing for staff to help cushion the Riverton housing market from an influx of new employees.
“I think people are kind of recognizing (Riverton) as up in the mountains and a good place to be,” Gard said. “We’re kind of the economic center of Fremont (County).”