International firm selects Harrisonburg as U.S. base for high-end gravel bikes
Mayor Deanna Reed and members of Harrisonburg City Council welcomed Benedikt Skulason, founder and CEO of LAUF Cycling, as the newest member of the city’s business community at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.
LAUF is recognized in the international biking community for manufacturing high-end gravel and mixed terrain bikes. As U.S. sales climbed over the past few years, LAUF recognized the need for a strategic location in North America that also had a strong biking reputation.
Skulason and Timothy Rugg, LAUF’s U.S. Operations Manager, paid a visit to The Friendly City and determined that LAUF and Harrisonburg were a perfect fit.
“The City of Harrisonburg is so pleased that LAUF has selected our city to be its U.S. home, investing here and creating new jobs for area residents,” Reed said. “It is exciting that this international leader in the cycling world has partnered with Harrisonburg for its continued growth and expansion.”
LAUF has signed a lease of a shell building at 156 E. Washington St., which will be built out to meet the needs of LAUF. Anticipated uses include bicycle showroom, light assembly and a bicycle distribution center. LAUF’s projections call for approximately eight employees by Year 3.
“The excellent cycling and outdoor recreation culture in Harrisonburg became very evident when I visited Harrisonburg last year when I got to ride through different parts of town and also on some excellent gravel roads surrounding the city,” Skulason said. “With LAUF’s new distribution set-up in Harrisonburg, we will be able to provide an even better service to LAUF’s customers and with the introduction of the new LAUF Seigla yesterday, a ground-breaking gravel bike – the timing of our US set-up couldn’t have come at a better time. We’ve had a constructive dialogue with Harrisonburg’s Economic Development team and foresee a further cooperation in getting Harrisonburg on the map as a cycling destination. We truly look forward to growing our business here in Harrisonburg.”
LAUF, founded in 2011 and headquartered in Reykjavik, Iceland, sells its bikes worldwide direct-to-consumer and is now ready to establish its U.S. presence in Harrisonburg. LAUF sponsors bike racing teams and biking events all over the world, which will help introduce many to Harrisonburg and all the community has to offer.
“Harrisonburg has such a strong cycling and outdoor recreation culture,” Harrisonburg Economic Development Director Brian Shull said. “LAUF quickly recognized that asset and wanted to be a part of it. We know that this cycling industry leader will be a great community partner and bring tremendous exposure to Harrisonburg. The Tourism and Economic Development benefits of LAUF’s presence here will be amazing.”
Find more information about LAUF at its website: www.laufcycling.com.