Ouray Sportswear to close in Colorado after 58 years, cut 154 workers

Ouray Sportswear has informed the state that it will close its Englewood plant and let go of 154 workers who printed T-shirts, headwear and other customized apparel for college, resort, golf and corporate customers.

“Changing business needs require us to close this facility permanently and, therefore, we are providing you with this notice in accordance with the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act,” President Connor Knutson wrote in a letter filed with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

The letter, dated Aug. 18, said 154 employees had been told of their permanent dismissal starting on Oct. 17 and through the end of the year, excluding a few positions that might continue into the first quarter of 2024.

Ouray Sportswear’s facility, 1201 W. Mansfield Ave., covers 114,000 square feet and contained 13 automatic screen print presses with 176 embroidery heads, according to the company’s website.

L2 Brands, based in Pennsylvania, acquired Ouray Sportswear at the start of the year from S&S Activewear, as well as the Locale brand that Ouray had acquired in 2021. Those two brands joined L2’s League and Legacy lines.

S&S acquired Ouray Sportswear as part of its purchase of distributor TSC Apparel in 2021 but didn’t hold it long. In 1965, Bill Musselman started Ski Country Imports, initially bringing over European winter gear before manufacturing items domestically. The family added the Ouray Sportswear line in 1997. Over the years, the company broadened beyond ski resorts to serve more than 4,000 customers in a variety of markets.

Knutson’s tone was much different than that expressed just eight months earlier by L2 Brands CEO Paige Wingert, who said at the time of the acquisition “we are thrilled to welcome the Ouray and Locale team to the L2 family. … We look forward to working with their team as we focus on bringing Ouray’s and Locale’s products to new customers and markets.”

Knutson didn’t respond to an interview request to provide more details on why L2 Brands was closing the Englewood plant and whether that production work done in Colorado would be moved elsewhere. L2 has manufacturing plants in Pennsylvania and El Salvador.

The pace of layoff notices has started to pick up.ย An unknown number of biotech workers in Boulder County are expected to lose their jobs by Oct. 17 when California firm ImmunityBio “streamlines” its operations and eliminates 59 positions, according to another WARN letter filed with the state. The company makes immunotherapy treatments that try to use the body’s own defenses to defeat cancer and other infectious diseases.

Astra Space Operations, a California maker of satellites, also informed the state that some of its Colorado workers would be out of a job as part of a companywide layoff of 61 workers. The company has been struggling to raise enough capital to continue its operations.

Earlier this month, Federal Express also filed WARN letters with the state regarding the dismissal of 94 workers in Colorado Springs and another 58 in Pueblo.

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