Weatherby Gets a Warm Welcome
Weatherby’s grand opening happened today, and it was certainly more than just a ribbon cutting.
There were food trucks and live music all day, as well as tours of the manufacturing facility and numerous raffles from Weatherby’s conservation partners.
At 1 p.m., the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony including a flag raising, speeches from the Weatherby family, First Lady Jenny Gordon, former Governor Matt Mead, and others.
The flag raising featured Weatherby employees and their family members presenting a horseback color guard and a rifle salute (using blanks) by veterans.
Adam Weatherby acted as master of ceremonies, introducing the speakers in a chronological walk down memory lane.
“Today we have a few people that I’d like to share with you,” Weatherby said. “Really, the journey here is a part of so many people doing so many things.”
In 2014, Weatherby was looking to relocate to another western state, as California had changed a lot since the company was founded in the 40s.
By 2017, the company had met with then Wyoming Governor Matt Mead.
“It was at that moment that governor Mead said, ‘Adam we want you, your family, and your business in Wyoming, and we don’t think you’re going to find a better fit out there,'” Weatherby recalled.
One year later, Weatherby and Mead announced the company’s decision to relocate to Wyoming.
“What I knew going in was that Weatherby was a world-class company that made world-class products,” Mead said after taking the stage, “and would bring manufacturing, and marketing, and sales, and expertise to Wyoming. But I also learned through this journey that it also brings a remarkable family. Weatherby is just a family that each one of us would be proud to call neighbors. Now we can. They’re our Wyoming neighbors and we’re so proud of them.”
Next, Weatherby introduced Shawn Reese, CEO of the Wyoming Business Council, who helped sell them on the state.
“We moved from the highest population state to the lowest population state,” Weatherby said. “The highest taxes to the best taxes, the not so best gun laws to the absolute best gun laws.”
Reese read the first email he got from Adam Weatherby to the crowd.
“I would like to read an email that I received two years, eight months, and six days ago,” Reese said. “The subject line: Time to get out of California.”
Next, Weatherby welcomed Sheridan Travel and Tourism CEO Shawn Parker to the podium and told the widely repeated story of their first meeting.
“We drove us out to this lot when it was just a big grassy field,” Weatherby said, “and we pulled up in the car where the food trucks are now and our local CEO of tourism Sean Parker was out there by himself in the field. He had a table and he had some local beer from some local breweries and he had all sorts of pictures and he had music playing. They were trying to sell it hard.”
Parker recalled the same event.
“I grabbed a couple of King Ropes hats, some Surf Wyoming shirts, growlers filled with local beer, and I crossed my fingers, honestly,” he said. “So I thought at least I could have a drink and try on some new clothes after I got fired for spoiling this deal.”
Next, Weatherby said they met with local officials; folks who could work out the details. The next speakers, Mayor Roger Miller and Kent Anderson of the Sheridan Economic and Education Authority, were two such people.
While the previous speakers talked about the past, the next speaker, Weatherby introduced, was about the future of Wyoming, Weatherby, and the firearms industry.
Gov. Mark Gordon was unable to attend, as he was called to The White House, but First Lady Jenny Gordon spoke in his place.
“Ribbon cuttings are always exciting, but this one is particularly so, because it marks the expansion of Wyoming’s firearm industry and the creation of more jobs and wages. It is a powerful sign of the prosperity and opportunities we have here in Wyoming,” Gordon said. “On behalf of the governor, I’d like to formally welcome the Weatherby family to Wyoming.”
Adam Weatherby had one last speaker to introduce.
“If it weren’t for this person, we wouldn’t be here today,” he said,”nor would I, because it’s my father.”
Roy Edward Weatherby Jr. expressed his gratitude to the Sheridan community and the entire state.
“As Adam mentioned,” he said, “I just recently retired. Now that I’ve seen the building, I want my job back. This is awesome.”