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Electra Bicycle moves Vista headquarters for growth, renovates facility

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Vista-based Electra Bicycle Co. has moved into a larger facility to accommodate its growing leisure and recreational bike business.

“With the growth of the company the last two years, we needed to move into a building with more space,” CEO Skip Hess said.

The 19-year-old company designs, distributes and sells its bikes and accessories, including parts and apparel, in the United States and around the world. The bikes are made in Asia.

“There has been a huge social awakening with people who want to ride bikes for recreational and leisurely purposes,” said Hess. “They don’t want to be a cyclist and race, but they do possibly want to change their lifestyle and some ride their bikes to the store or to work a few times out of the week, and some want to reduce their carbon footprint.”

The company moved across the street to a 70,000-square-foot building that will now be its global headquarters and distribution center.

“We want to be here for at least the next five years,” Hess said.

The building received tenant improvements and was renovated by knocking down walls to make way for new offices. New flooring was installed, studios for designers were created, and areas were upgraded to meet ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements.

Carlsbad-based Viking Commercial Construction was the general contractor hired for the tenant improvement project. Hess did not say how much the five-week renovation project cost or for what amount the building is being leased.

This is the third time Electra Bicycle Co. has moved locations because of growth. The company currently has 32 employees. Over the last year, two warehouse employees and a new customer service rep have been hired, and Hess expects to hire a handful more full-time employees in the next 12 months.

“We made an offer to someone on (Wednesday),” said Hess. “And we plan to hire five more people over the next 12 months.”

He added that most of the recent applicants and hires have been coming from San Diego County, stating, “There is a lot of talent out here” because good people were let go when the economy went into a recession and he wouldn’t have had the current talent pool five years ago.

Five years from now, Hess sees the company becoming even more of a lifestyle brand and plans to sell more than just bikes and accessories.

“I want the company to cross over to a lifestyle brand and be more than just about two-wheel goods,” he said, adding that he would like to see his bikes and merchandise at nontraditional stores like Nordstrom.

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