SAN DIEGO – The makers of ‘Xterra Wetsuits,’ the top selling triathlon wetsuit in the world, moved the business from San Diego in an attempt to grow the business and pay fewer taxes. After a couple of years, they’ve decided to return to its birthplace.
“We are now back,” said Xterra Wetsuit President Liz Barlow.
The business was founded in 2001, left California and went to Colorado, then Texas.
It’s the one point Texas Governor made in a pitch earlier this year, trying to lure in businesses out of California and get them to Texas.
“I hear building a business in California is next to impossible,” said Perry in a California radio advertisement in February.
Those behind Xterra Wetsuits went, but are now saying thanks, but no thanks to Texas.
“San Diego is where we need to be,” said Xterra Wetsuit founder Keith Simmons.
Both Simmons and Barlow say while the company was able to remain competitive after leaving California, selling tens of thousands of wetsuits, being in Texas, “it wasn’t what it was cut out to be,” said Barlow.
Company leaders said it was a lesson well learned.
“You have to rebuild your brand and that is invaluable money. You might save in taxes but you’re going to have to do more marketing,” Barlow said. “Really at the end of the day it may not make a lot of sense to leave California.”