- Associated Press - Thursday, April 16, 2015

RUSTON, La. (AP) - Monster Moto, a motorcycle company that manufactures mini bikes and go-karts for children and teenagers, will move its headquarters and production facility to Ruston and create almost 300 jobs.

“These products make you want to be a kid again,” said Gov. Bobby Jindal, who also said his 8-year-old son Slade would want one of the mini bikes for Christmas.

The company, which sold 20,000 units last year, is currently headquartered and produces the vehicles in China.

In ‘kidspeak,’ we build fun,” said Alexander Keechle, Monster Moto’s chief executive officer. “We’re beyond thrilled to be in Ruston.”

The News-Star reported (https://tnsne.ws/1PRP0Pf) Thursday a group of investors led by the Graham family of Lincoln Builders will construct the 100,000-square-foot facility at the former site of the city’s municipal airport. Ruston will provide the land and guarantee the lease.

“It’s a historic day in our city’s life,” newly elected Mayor Ronny Walker said. “I kept telling (Keechle) there’s something special about Ruston.”

“This is absolutely the best place for us to be,” Keechle said. “It’s a place where handshakes still matter.”

Construction will begin in June and is scheduled to be operational by the end of the year.

“We’re talking about bringing manufacturing jobs back from China,” Jindal said. “This company started in Texas and looked at other states, but it chose northern Louisiana. It shows we’re winning the battle with other states in our region and the country.”

The project will include a minimum $4 million capital investment as part of a public-private development to build a 100,000-square-foot facility housing Monster Moto’s operations at the former site of Ruston’s municipal airport.

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Information from: The News-Star, https://www.thenewsstar.com


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