Head USA, the North American division of the Dutch sports equipment company, on Tuesday selected Boulder as the new headquarters for its winter sports division.

The division's move from Norwalk, Conn., could initially bring 10 to 20 employees to Boulder, said Jon Rucker, vice president of the Head Tyrolia Winter Sports division. All of the division's employees have been offered an opportunity to relocate, he said.

"Really, we have grand plans and we certainly are expecting growth in the future," he said.

The division's sales growth, which has been "dramatic" the past two seasons, spurred the company to explore expanding the business unit and basing it in a location more appropriate to its products, he said. After a yearlong search, Boulder -- a city that once served as a home for Head Sports -- surfaced as the company's top choice.

The mountains combined with the health-focused culture and the strong academic base vaulted Boulder above the competition.

"As the company grows, and we know it will grow by moving here, we're going to have an incredible potential workforce to tap into," he said. "The population is full of people who ideally are already qualified to work with our company."

It's unclear where Head might land in Boulder or how big a space it will lease. Officials continue to whittle down their options, Rucker said Tuesday as he headed into Boulder to tour several properties fit for office and research and development operations.


The site selection, however, should come fairly soon because officials expect some sales and marketing employees to relocate as early as April. The remainder of the sales team will come in the summer and be followed by the finance and logistics departments' move in the coming year.

Head Sports had an operation in Boulder for more than 20 years but shuttered its facility in 1995 as part of a companywide consolidation effort.

Head's return to Boulder should help fuel city leaders' efforts to retain and attract companies in the outdoor industry, said Liz Hanson, Boulder's economic vitality coordinator.

"I think that anytime we're adding or expanding our outdoor industry presence here, the stronger our outdoor industry is," she said. "I think this continues to build on our strengths -- and the fact that it's a key brand name, it's great news."

Contact Camera Business Writer Alicia Wallace at 303-473-1332 or wallacea@dailycamera.com.