- Project represents $7.5 million investment in Macon County
- Company is leading manufacturer of helicopter kits
NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Safari Enterprises, LLC officials announced today that the helicopter manufacturer will relocate its headquarters and manufacturing operations from Marianna, Fla. to Lafayette.
Safari Enterprises, LLC, known as Safari Helicopter, is a leading manufacturer of two-seater helicopter kits. Over the next five years, Safari Helicopter will invest $7.5 million and create 85 jobs in Macon County.
As phase one of the relocation, the company will build a 16,000-square-foot facility at the Lafayette Municipal Airport. Phase two will include construction of additional buildings to accommodate for future growth. The company manufactures and sells “home build” helicopter
manufacturing kits for aviation enthusiasts with an in-house build option for those uncomfortable with the building process.
“There were multiple factors in our decision to move to Lafayette,” Abe Gaskins, co-owner, Safari Enterprises. “I have to say, it was the incredible assistance from TNECD and the genuine welcome we received from the mayor and city council in Lafayette that clinched the deal. We can’t wait to open the hangar doors this summer.”
“Safari Helicopter’s decision to relocate its headquarters from Florida to Tennessee and create new family-wage jobs in Lafayette is a huge win for Macon County and the entire Upper Cumberland region. We welcome Safari Helicopter and thank the company for investing in Tennessee,” added TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe.
“I’m very proud to welcome our newest employer to Macon County,” said Rep. Kelly Keisling (R-Byrdstown). “Tennessee continues to be a top choice for companies looking to establish advanced manufacturing facilities and our talented workforce makes Lafayette an exceptional choice. We thank Safari Helicopter for their investment and wish them success for many years to come.”
Over the last five years, TNECD has supported nearly 40 economic development projects in the Upper Cumberland region, resulting in 3,700 job commitments and nearly $450 million in capital investment.