Cascade Designs will move 100 jobs from Seattle to Nevada due to the huge increase in the minimum wage. (My former coworker John Burroughs founded this company, but still worked with us until it because a $5 million company in the late 1980s.)
They designed and make Therma-a-Rest sleeping pads for backpacking. They make MSR stoves and other items branded Platypus.
Seattle-based outdoor-gear maker Cascade Designs will move about 100 jobs, roughly one fifth of its workforce, to a new manufacturing and distribution facility in Nevada as it seeks to keep costs down while pursuing growth.
The company said it needs to expand, but doing so in the Seattle area is too expensive. The main reason is increasingly expensive real estate, especially for the space it leases around the city to house its merchandise.
“We’re running out of space in Seattle,” spokesman Martin Maisonpierre said.
But labor costs — recently subject to a minimum wage of $15 per hour — also add up, especially as Cascade competes with brands that rely on cheap overseas labor, Maisonpierre said.