By Joseph Ditzler

The Bulletin

The Bend-based maker of those seemingly ubiquitous stainless-steel, vacuum-insulated bottles that keep beverages hot or cold is building itself a new home.

Hydro Flask, founded six years ago in Bend, announced plans Wednesday to build a new, 12,000-square-foot headquarters at NW York and NW Lolo Drives in NorthWest Crossing. It will double the size of its current home nearby.

Construction should start in summer, with the building ready to occupy next year. A company news release described the new facility as state of the art, designed to accommodate product design, testing and company management and the workforce. The company manufactures the bottles in China.

The building will cost several million dollars to build, said Hydro Flask CEO Scott Allan, who declined to be more specific. Bend builder and developer Taylor Northwest will co-own the facility with Hydro Flask, according to a news release.

“It’s important that the facility encourages cross-functional collaboration,” Allan said. “What we wanted was something that encouraged that type of interaction, but encouraging that interaction as much around values and culture.”

So the new building, designed by Steele Associates Architects, of Bend, will incorporate open space, along with a bike corral, gear lockers and showers, benefits for employees who take breaks to bike or run, Allan said. Inside will be beverage taps and coffee equipment that pour the drinks commonly found in consumers’ Hydro Flasks.

“The team’s under a lot of pressure managing growth, keeping high standards, quality and reliability,” Allan said. “So when they can go have fun together, blow off a little steam and come back refreshed, it’s an important part of our relationship with our staff.”

Plans for a new company home fall in line with a rash of new hiring — 25 employees in the past year — and plans to expand into markets abroad.

Mike Wallenfels, co-founder and former president of outdoor gear and apparel maker Mountain Hardware, came aboard Hydro Flask this month as vice president of worldwide sales. His first target will be Germany, followed possibly by the Scandinavian countries, Allan said.

“Now we’re looking at Canada, Europe, Asia,” Allan said. “We’re excited that a relatively small company in Bend might touch the lives of lifestyle consumers on a global basis.”

Hydro Flask grew its domestic market by first providing retailers like local gear shops and breweries with its product, then chains like Whole Foods and REI, he said. The company does very little advertising, for now relying on social media and word-of-mouth, said Lucas Alberg, Hydro Flask communications manager.

Wallenfels’ hiring, “it’s definitely a big deal,” Alberg said. “But it goes in line with a lot of the hiring we’ve done in the last six months.”

A decision to build a new headquarters came naturally. For example, the research and design section is housed in a separate building nearby. That will come under the new roof. And the company workforce has doubled to 50 since January 2014, Alberg said.

“We’re simply running out of space for the number of employees we have,” Alberg said.

— Reporter: 541-617-7815, jditzler@bendbulletin.com

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