BARNEVELD — Hunters, birders and sports fans will be able to see an optics product of their choice, try it out, and see how it was manufactured at the new Vortex Optics headquarters.
Vortex Optics was founded in 1986 by Dan Hamilton, who still owns the company, and he recently moved the entire operation, including manufacturing and research, to an eastern Iowa County village of about 1,230.
The grand opening is slated for July, but already all operations now originate out of the Barneveld headquarters.
Shamus Terry, manager of international and dealer sales, said the move of the company employing 240 people, “was no small task.” They occupied seven smaller buildings in Middleton. before the move. Now everything is in one structure.
“This facility gives us the best opportunity to serve customers. This is a beautiful place to work; the new facilities are state-of-the-art for engineering, shipping and all the other activities we’re involved in.”
The company views this move to a main building, with an accessory indoor range, and a maintenance building they constructed, as a permanent home, showroom and workplace.
While completely operational, the company is still in the planning stages for hosting educational events relating to their products and the outdoors, working on schedules for customers to use the range, and finishing decorating the wildlife display lobby.
“We now look at our brand, Vortex, as a lifestyle brand,” Terry said. “The experience of learning about optics and determining what to purchase is part of what this facility allows us to be able to do for customers and for retail outlets who sell our optics.”
Vortex speaks of CARE, create a rare experience, and knows customers will leave feeling this is the best experience they could have in purchasing a rifle scope, binoculars, a rangefinder and related equipment.
In addition, a customer who may purchase a Vortex Optics product, for example at a Cabela’s store, may buy a package that includes coming to Barneveld to watch and learn how optics are made, used, adjusted and sighted in the case of a rifle scope.
“Our technology is as good as it gets,” Terry said.
Vortex bought more than 100 acres in the village. A portion of the land was used for the optics facilities so other businesses can move in through a lease arrangement. A children’s daycare facility will be open later this summer, which is one of several conveniences planned for the employees and area residents.
The placement of Vortex Optics can complement other present outdoors recreational businesses. Nearby, Ritchie Implement sells snowmobiles, ATVs and RTVs. During deer season, an area is leased by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to assist deer hunters in registration, deer donations, taxidermy contacts and chronic wasting disease sampling.
A large grassland prairie adjoins the business park, giving hunters and birders an opportunity to “glass” the area with binoculars and scopes.
The business is several blocks south of U.S. Highway 18-151, off exit 58.
Vortex Optics has some outdoors clothing items that can be purchased online or at the headquarters.
Their optics equipment is sold worldwide with the company priding itself in having a strong warranty and a “customer comes first” attitude.
Two years ago Vortex became a corporate sponsor for the Wisconsin DNR’s annual ethical hunter award by gifting a committee-selected individual a product from the company and hosting the presentation of this statewide announcement.
The company’s literature highlights Vortex Optics as American-owned, veteran-owned and family operated producing a wide range of rugged outdoors optics equipment.
They continue to say they’re helping the world see clearly.
For more information, visit vortexoptics.com or call 800-426-0048.
Jerry Davis can be reached at email@example.com.