James Klessens, CEO of Forward Cody, an economic development program, said representatives from Yeezy started communicating with them earlier this month about leasing out the old Cody Labs building (a pharmaceutical company that closed earlier this year). The proposal for the site includes converting an 11,300-square-foot warehouse and building a temporary 1,056-square-foot facility right next to it; together they could house between 10 and 20 employees when it opens.
The proposed Adidas YEEZY Cody Sample Lab will be located in a heavy industrial zone in Cody, Wyoming’s North Industrial Park. Forward Cody’s James Klessens told WWD, “You have buildings in New York that have more people than our town has. To have a company like this in our community will make a significant impact. It’s going to be a very positive thing from an employment standpoint.”
Klessens also hinted at the potential for future manufacturing jobs: “I think there are conversations about that. That’s certainly something that is on their mind. It will take some very sharp pencils to make that work because we’re not exactly on a major thoroughfare.”
“We are not on an interstate highway. We don’t have a seaport here,” Klessens continued. “So, it takes a little bit of thinking to make sure you have production efficiencies that allow you to be profitable in that endeavor. We have manufacturing here. We’re making everything from firearms to aerospace products and leather goods. There are a number of things that are really niche markets, higher-margin markets. We have some manufacturing here that does quite well.”
Cody, which has about 10,000 residents, is reportedly a summer tourist hot spot because of its proximity to Yellowstone National Park. It is estimated that 800,000 people visit the town every summer.
West is this year’s highest-earning hip-hop artist, according to Forbes. Although Jay-Z earned $81 million and was crowned as hip-hop’s first billionaire earlier this year, West nearly doubled his earnings, raking in $150 million in pre-tax income. Meanwhile, West’s Yeezy footwear collection with Adidas is on-pace to generate $1.5 billion this year.