Misty Harbor to return to Humboldt

The former Born Free Motorcoach building at 1505 13th St. N. has been purchased by Marine Group LLC, doing business as Misty Harbor. The company plans to immediately start hiring employees for Humboldt operations, with an expected 40 people hired by the end of the first year. The company manufactures pontoon boats and accessories and has its beginnings in Humboldt, started by the Harklau family. Humboldt Independent photo.

By Kent Thompson
Misty Harbor Pontoons will be returning to its roots in a sense, as the company will be beginning manufacturing operations in the former Dodgen Born Free Motorcoach factory on Highway 169, it was announced at the conclusion of Monday night’s Humboldt City Council meeting.
Following a 20-minute closed session discussion with Humboldt County Development Association Executive Director Alissa O’Connor, the Humboldt City Council passed a motion to proceed with a development agreement between the city of Humboldt and Marine Group LLC, doing business as Misty Harbor. The agreement includes a six-year tax-increment financing rebate agreement where 75 percent of taxes will be rebated for the first three years and 45 percent for the following three years. Council member Jim Vermeer made the motion with Council member Joel Goodell adding the second. The motion was approved 5-0 with Council members Bret Davis, John Sleiter and Kirk Whittlesey also lending support.
“We have been working with them the past three months in exploring opportunities of expanding their growing company in Humboldt,” O’Connor said.
“They are going to hire 40 people in year one, so that’s a big jump for us and wonderful news,” O’Connor told The Independent. “They will continue to grow from there,” she said.
An owner of The Marine Group LLC, the company doing business as Misty Harbor Pontoons, is excited to be expanding its boat manufacturing business in Humboldt.
Tom Christy, vice president and one of three co-owners of the company, spoke to The Independent in an exclusive interview on Tuesday, shortly after the announcement by development officials that company would be locating in Humboldt.
Christy, Humboldt native John Jergens and George Thomas purchased Misty Harbor Pontoons in January 2017.
"We are obviously excited to be coming to Humboldt and utilizing the Dodgen manufacturing building, and continuing on their family tradition of recreational transportation in that building,” Christy said.
“Our intent is to expand the footprint of our pontoon manufacturing business. We have our main assembly plant in Fort Dodge and another smaller plant there where we do some different fabrication. We hope to incorporate some of both of those trades at the new Humboldt location.” The company is hopeful of starting its Humboldt operations by early 2018.
Misty Harbor is a company with Humboldt roots. It was founded by the Harklau family in 1988 and began production of pontoon boats in 1990 in the current Hog Slat offices in the Humboldt Industrial Park.
To read more details about this development news see the story exclusively in this week's Humboldt Independent. Subscribe by clicking on the link at the top of this page.

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