Bass Pro responds to resignations at Ranger Boats plant

FLIPPIN — One week after three executives announced their resignations at Fishing Holdings LLC, Bass Pro Group released a statement, noting its support for the local plant.

The boat manufacturing company, located in Flippin, was acquired by Bass Pro Shops nearly one year ago. Bass Pro owns Fishing Holdings, which manufactures fiberglass and aluminum fishing boats sold under the Ranger Boats, Stratos and Triton brands.

Fishing Holdings President and CEO Randy Hopper confirmed Friday that he, Vice President of Sales Keith Daffron and Vice President of Finance Mendel Hughes resigned effective Nov. 23. Hopper declined to comment further.

Bass Pro Group released a statement from its headquarters on Monday, responding to questions about the future of Fishing Holdings and the manufacturing plant.

“Last week we regretfully accepted the resignations of three executives at Fishing Holdings; Randy Hopper, Keith Daffron and Mendel Hughes. These actions were voluntary and do not reflect any changes in philosophy with regard to management,” the statement said. “We remain deeply committed to the Ranger, Stratos and Triton brands and have tremendous respect for the strong, independent dealer network. The dealers and fantastic team of associates in Flippin, Arkansas continue to have our full support and admiration.”

In December 2014, at the time Bass Pro announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Fishing Holdings, Bass Pro said it would continue operating independently under its existing management in Flippin. The former CEO, Hopper, said the company was “already in growth mode” and told The Bulletin that Fishing Holdings employed about 936 people. Hopper said last year he had been with the company since he was a teenager, working through plant management, engineering and, eventually, into leadership.

As of 2014, Fishing Holdings said there was a network of 200 Ranger dealers and more than 100 Triton and 100 Stratos dealers. Ranger Boats is known internationally with customers from countries such as Japan, France, Italy, Australia and Russia.

Bass Pro is headquartered two hours away in Springfield, Missouri, and has 90 locations throughout the country, including Springfield, Branson, Missouri, and Little Rock. It also manufactures and sells boats through its Tracker Marine Group brand.


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