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Bozeman outdoor company sells to national brand
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Bozeman outdoor company sells to national brand

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A Bozeman-based outdoor gear company has sold to a national outdoor gear and shooting sports company.

Vista Outdoor closed on Stone Glacier, a Bozeman company that makes outdoor gear and supplies, at the end of December.

Vista Outdoor is the parent company of 39 different outdoor and hunting brands including CamelBak, Bell, Bushnell and Remington, and has headquarters in Minnesota.

Stone Glacier CEO Jeff Sposito said the decision to sell to Vista Outdoor was to help keep up with Stone Glacier’s fast-paced growth.

“It’ll give us more resources,” he said. “From a local perspective, it gives us the ability to hire more people faster.”

Sposito said the sale won’t affect much of what Stone Glacier does locally. It’ll still have its headquarters in Bozeman, with the same leadership, but Vista will give the growing company access to resources on a much larger scale.

Founded in 2012, Stone Glacier has seen consistent growth, Sposito said. Starting with three employees, the company has now grown to employee 17 people.

In August, the company also broke ground on an expanded headquarters near the corner of Huffine Lane and Love Lane, that would include a large stage and event space, retail storefront, bigger office and warehousing space.

The new headquarters is double the space of its existing storefront on Griffin Drive, and should be completed by April, Sposito said.

For the third year in a row, Stone Glacier was named as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. and the fastest growing in Montana in 2021 by Inc. Magazine’s annual Inc. 5000 list.

“Our plan is to continue (to have) similar growth rates,” Sposito said. “So in the next five years, we want to see our workforce double in size.”

Most of Stone Glacier’s growth has been organic, Sposito said, but the pandemic — and a rise in people recreating outdoors — helped.

Montana saw a big increase in outdoor recreation in 2021, with both state parks and Yellowstone National Park seeing record numbers of visitors. That equated to more people spending money on outdoor gear.

In a press release, Vista Outdoor said acquiring Stone Glacier was in part due to its fast growth and the high demand for camping and other outdoor gear.

“Stone Glacier enhances our ability to enter and leverage the camping category, which has exploded in popularity over recent years,” said Vista Outdoor CEO Chris Metz in a press release.

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