Skeeter Fishing Boats plans Kilgore expansion, adding 80+ jobs

Skeeter Fishing Boats plans Kilgore expansion, adding 80+ jobs
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 4:11 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 25, 2023 at 7:33 PM CST
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KILGORE, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas leader in boat manufacturing is announcing plans to expand facilities and add jobs.

Skeeter Fishing Boats in Kilgore has been one of the most recognizable landmarks along Highway 259 for the past 50 years, and now they’re expanding.

“We’re looking at expanding our facility over the next 12 to 16 months. The first phase of that acquisition allows us to move certain parts of our manufacturing process into one of the buildings on the Halliburton property that allows for an increase in our capacity from 12 to 15 boats a day,” says Skeeter senior vice president Jeff Stone.

And that expansion is good news for business all around in Kilgore, and for those trying to attract more of it.

The loss of Halliburton was a blow to the Kilgore economy. But with that loss, the Kilgore Economic Development Corporation immediately looked to Skeeter.

“Being adjacent to Skeeter’s property, it made sense. They were at a point where they needed room to grow. First phase is the purchase of about 12 acres of that site,” says KEDC executive director Lisa Denton.

Initial plans will add the parts facility and up to 15 jobs, with long range expansion adding many more.

“The potential for a second boat factory. Great opportunities for our local work force,” Stone says.

And a boost for the city.

“All told, a little over 90 jobs and first investment is $6.7 million. Find the right company to bring that back on the tax rolls and create more jobs,” Denton says.

Phase 2 begins about 30 months into the agreement with the manufacturer’s purchase of the remaining 43 acres of the former Halliburton location and construction of a new boat factory in years 3-5 of the deal.

They expect to add 84 more full time positions within the seven-year term of the agreement.