A longtime Rifle business has relocated to Fruita, taking with it 28 local jobs, and gaining 10 times the room it had, at a lower cost.
TWI Oilfield Fabrication completed its move to a 24,000-square-foot facility in Fruita last week. It had operated in Rifle for 10 years at 815 W. Second St.
Sales and Marketing Director Tina Holtz said the company tried for three years to find a suitable site in Rifle and surrounding areas, both in terms of size and zoning.
"We just couldn't find a large enough, industrial-zoned area," she added. "Fruita has a rail spur, too, so that will be very good for us."
While most of TWI's business was in the natural gas industry, Holtz said the company was one of only a few that helped private citizens who needed their lawn chair, horse trailers, and odds and ends welded.
TWI will maintain its equipment yard in Rifle, Holtz noted, but all employees except her plan to move closer to Fruita. Owners Todd and Vivian Chamberlin will commute for the time being, but also hope to eventually move closer to Fruita, Holtz said.
"Todd started this business in one corner of this shop," she added, while her co-workers moved the equipment out of the Rifle building. "We gradually expanded until we had the whole building."
"We're sad we have to leave Rifle and we want our customers to know we're still in business," Holtz added. "People would always just show up with their welding needs and we could help. We know lots of our clients on a personal level, which makes it harder to leave."