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Star Trac, StairMaster Consolidating in Washington State

StairMaster is expected to add 60 jobs this year and a total of 100 jobs over the next five years at its Vancouver, WA, headquarters. This is a result of consolidation of the StairMaster and Star Trac companies, which are both owned by Michael Bruno.

Dustin Grosz, president of both Star Trac and StairMaster, discussed the consolidation when Star Trac recently announced it was shutting down its plant in California and moving production to its Land America plant in China. The StairMaster headquarters will house executive, administrative and customer service functions, such as finance, IT, human resources and accounting, for both StairMaster and Star Trac.

“We worked very quickly on where the best place would be to consolidate the business,” Grosz says. “One of the options that I started looking at [after taking over as Star Trac president in March] was consolidating the back end of Star Trac and StairMaster. This very quickly became apparent as a viable option.”

Grosz said earlier this month that Star Trac will continue to have its headquarters in Irvine for its marketing team, product development team, warehousing and shipping of goods, as well as a showroom.

Five executives from Star Trac are expected to move from Star Trac’s Irvine, CA, headquarters to Vancouver. The Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC), based in Vancouver, aided Star Trac with relocation costs by securing $100,000 from Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire’s strategic reserve fund.

CREDC also is working with the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council by assisting StairMaster in recruiting employees for the new available jobs in Vancouver, says Jeanie Ashe, director of business recruitment for the CREDC.

Ashe says StairMaster executives, who already were located in Vancouver, had been traveling to and from Irvine. The relocation costs will aid those executives, Ashe says.

“They have a very talented workforce down in Irvine, and they didn’t want to lose key personnel,” Ashe says.

In a statement released by the CREDC, Grosz said that Vancouver, whose metro area includes Portland, OR, met the company’s needs.

“The Portland-Vancouver metro is the nation’s hub for outdoor and fitness equipment enthusiasts, which allows us to have access to the type of workforce we want to grow and shape our company,” Grosz said.

Beginning next Wednesday, June 1, the StairMaster headquarters will be in a 26,000-square-foot building that had housed Vancouver city employees, who will move to a new city hall building downtown. StairMaster had operated in a 10,000-square-foot building with about 23 employees.

Grosz told the Portland Business Journal that StairMaster exceeded its goal of $25 million in revenue by 12 percent over the past year. He also told the newspaper that he estimated Star Trac’s sales this year will be about 40 percent lower than the $175 million the company generated two years ago.

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