California's High Cost of Living Is Pushing Really Right Stuff to Relocate, Big Plans Ahead

California's High Cost of Living Is Pushing Really Right Stuff to Relocate, Big Plans Ahead

High-end tripod and camera support company Really Right Stuff is moving their headquarters and manufacturing operations. They also have big plans coming up for the future.

In a press release, Really Right Stuff announced that the company would be moving from their current location in San Luis Obispo, California and settling down in Lehi, Utah. “We love beautiful San Luis Obispo, but our employees can’t afford to buy a home,” said CEO Joseph M. Johnson, Sr. “The business-friendly environment and low cost of living in Lehi, Utah made it a clear choice for us to best serve our customers and employees long-term.” He also said that most of their current employees would be moving to the new city as well, “keeping our RRS family largely intact.”

Besides the lower cost of living, the new building is also two-and-a-half times larger and will offer the company new product opportunities with a larger workforce. “The move comes with expansion on every level,” I was told by Assistant Product Manager Nathanael Brookshire, “More machines, more people, and more gear.”

At one time, the only way to purchase Really Right Stuff gear was through their website. However, a little over a year ago they had grown to the point where they could stock B&H Photo with their products as well.

Brookshire also mentioned that the company would be “significantly expanding” their manufacturing capability and will have the Utah location in operation before completely shutting down the California facilities. In turn, this should mean minimal interruption to customers.

Photo by Pixabay via Pexels.

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Lance Bachelder's picture

Good for them! I'm a 4th generation Californian and the state doesn't even resemble the place I grew up in. Now with the legislature wanting to rob corporations of half of the new federal corp tax cut this is only the beginning. There's already been a steady migration of companies out of CA to Nevada, Texas and other low-cost, low tax states but the insane greediness of the extreme left is going to choke businesses to the point that they will be forced out of state or out of business.

You've been downvoted by a Canadian. Mind boggling, but not surprising.

Where the Government (specifically Californian) spend this money?

Matthew Saville's picture

Google "California politician expenditure scandal" and take your pick. They spend it on themselves.

Just market forces. They are making a choice they see as best for their business.
The political ranting about the business climate in California is pointless. California is expensive because of the demand for people wanting to live there and the services they demand.

It is not a real economic argument that California could actually make itself an inexpensive place to live and work even if you eliminated ALL taxes and regulations. It is way more attractive than most other states and offers way more economic opportunity that attracts businesses today despite the wishful thinking of the anti-California apologists.

William Howell's picture

California will most likely lose a house seat after the 2020 census, the first time.

"anti-California apologists"? That doesn't really make any sense. :-/
While some of what you say is true, there's a wide margin between the current cost of doing business in California and "an inexpensive place to live and work" which could be narrowed with judicious and economically responsible policies. That shouldn't have anything to with politics. It doesn't have to be "all or nothing" in either direction.

An apartment in San Francisco L.A. or San Diego is just crazy expensive. All the policies in the world will not change the simple fact of limited supply and a huge demand from people with big wallets.

How about policies limiting the amount of investment property one can own?

"The political ranting about the business climate in California is pointless.

Not pointless at all when politcal decisions contribute to cost of living expenses.

Matthew Saville's picture

"anti-California apologists"

...That phrase is an insult to all the people who LOVE California, and are working as hard as they can to stay here, but are beginning to realize that it's simply not in the cards for them. (Or, they'd rather not get murdered by an AB109 release, or a repeatedly-deported gang / drug criminal.)

You're right about one thing: in today's global economy, there is no stopping the march of "progress". Wealth gravitates. And almost all of California offers gorgeous weather, innumerable safe communities and educational opportunities, ...and fortunes to be made. We had Hollywood, then Silicon Valley, and now Silicon Beach, and many other places where money is flowing. The already-wealthy are moving here to in droves, increase their wealth.

Inevitably, gentrification occurs. That's what happens when the entire globe finds out that it can be 72 degrees here even in January / February. Fair enough!

So if you think you're somehow entitled to live 5 minutes from the beach, and yet pay your bills working a minimum wage job, you're delusional.

But make no mistake, you're also blind if you don't see the abuse of wealth and power that is also occurring here. The property / housing market is artificially high, because we've allowed the ownership to become too consolidated. Large corporations literally own cities. Google The Irvine Company. Donald Bren is worth $15 billion, and the wealthiest real estate developer in the entire country.

These large corporations literally own entire chunks of cities, and they decide exactly how many housing units get built and go on the market. They make rent control a pipe dream everywhere they can. And generally speaking, whatever does get built is almost always a "luxury" option.

If we actually wanted to give everyone a "fair shot" at affording a place to live here, we would have enacted laws that restrict the size of residential property ownership by large corporations, decades ago. Instead, we've convinced ourselves that this is normal, that property and housing is at an extreme premium here, when it simply isn't. You can drive for 2-3 hours in any direction at 65 MPH, and see nothing but suburbia in some cases. It could have cost 1/5 or 1/10 what it currently costs to live in certain areas, if it were still largely just individual homeowners, and if we had started building high-rise apartments a couple decades ago.

I'm sure someone will respond that this simply isn't the way the market works, and big investments are the only way to make certain things possible. I'm sure that's the case, in some areas. But it didn't have to be the case EVERYWHERE.

TLDR, yeah, the rich have to live somewhere, and everybody wants to live in CA. But property here is still wildly over-priced, artificially inflated. Period.

Lance Bachelder's picture

Don't get me started on the Irvine Co! They've single-handedly destroyed the OC. When I was a kid (70's) my single mom was a retail manager making a pittance - but we somehow could afford to live in Newport Beach a hundred yards from the sand in a 3 bedroom rental. Today you would have to gross a minimum of 150K year to rent that same exact condo. With an average household income 101K - that means total income of entire household - most are scraping by to qualify for a 2 bedroom apt. or should I say "apartment home" as the Irvine Co calls them and cannot even think about home ownership. Thanks Donald Bren

Matthew Saville's picture

Again, you have to consider that this is now a global economy we live in. I drove for Uber for about 1,000 rides, a while back, and met all kinds of people. Wealthy people are moving here from all around the globe. Whether or not property values are being manipulated, the days of working a menial job and living on the beach are OVER. It's sad, but inevitable.

Still, that's no excuse for us to not have started building plenty of housing within 30-60 minutes of the beach, both affordable and luxury, depending on the area. Now, even in the crappiest parts of town you can't pay your rent without a high-paying job.

(BTW, one of my favorite coffee table books is about the Crystal Cove Cottages. What a wonderful rustic place, decades ago. Now you have to reserve one of the cottages forever in advance, and they cost a fortune per night.)

"Artificially inflated". Some pricing in the market is due to regulation. The bulk is due to demand/supply.
I would note that the prices for property are going up, not dropping.
People are still moving here because opportunity is here.
Not saying opportunity doesn't exist here but despite the pain of crowding California still beats Texas for a lot of things.

Matthew Saville's picture seems my references to De Beers may have gone un-considered?

Yes, supply and demand is a legitimate economic force. However it can easily be manipulated.

In the case of real estate, the supply would be different if all prime areas had not been slowly bought up by huge corporations and lone investors, and then choked and slowly doled out for disproportionately "luxury" housing etc.

If the entire country / world wants to live here, I get it. Maybe the middle class just can't afford to live anywhere near the CA coast. Maybe I'm asking too much for it to cost under $2K /mo to live within a short drive of the beach, ANYWHERE along the ~350 miles between SLO and San Diego.

But it seems to me that much surface area should offer enough square miles for ample affordable (for the middle class, at least) housing.

I'm no economist, of course. I simply have a sneaking suspicion that we're being scammed.

lol, Texas says "hello"

William Howell's picture

And the exodus begins.

Hans Klett's picture

Spend a few minutes looking at this and you will see why it's impossible to own a business in California. Do a search for "System Service Worker" and you will see what a janitor earns in California.

Interesting. They don't explain what the difference is between regular and total pay. The differences in many jobs is quite substantial and I doubt most workers are working so much overtime.

Han Seoul-Oh's picture

woohoo! lower prices!

wait, i'm dreaming.

At least they might not increase or, at least, not as much.

Nice to see, but not surprising at all. Left wing politics, primarily, is destroying California and America. California, the state that right away wants to penalize people and companies by trying to tax away their new federal tax savings. It sure does love illegal immigrants from second and third world countries though. More and more the state is turning into something that resembles such a country.

Left wing politics is destroying America? Bro...come on, you know thats not a true statement. The America you want maybe not what it is or its changing in a way you don't like, but its a country shared by people of all walks of life. Destroying America? I can't remember is it left wing politics that dictates our gun laws? The right wants to arm everyone and make it the wild west again. Thats not destroying America?

"Bro...come on, you know thats not a true statement."

That's a ridiculous response. If I didn't believe it to be true I wouldn't have said it.

"..but its a country shared by people of all walks of life."

Yeah, including tens of millions of illegal immigrants from second and third world countries. That's a shameful, disagraceful and serious national security situation that is overwhelmingly due to the left. Most of them are in favor of illegal immigration. In fact, left wing politicians and police chiefs are proud accessories to illegal immigration. They should be arrested by federal police, removed from their positions and put in prison. They are criminals and guilty of treason.

"I can't remember is it left wing politics that dictates our gun laws? The right wants to arm everyone and make it the wild west again. Thats not destroying America?"

No, the right does not want to arm everyone. That's irrational and ignorant nonsense.

Most Americans are law abiding and sane, so there would be nothing wrong with most Americans being armed. The right to bear arms comes from our constitution, from some of the most intelligent and wisest men to ever walk the earth. Most of the left have no respect for that. The aim for most of them is to ban gun ownership. Meanwhile the politicians on the left are able to carry guns and/or have arm security details. That is the mindset and act of a fascist. Their madness and evilness have created gun free zones and made it very difficult for law abiding Americans to own and carry a gun. Such conditions are an open invitation for criminals and mass shooters to operate in.

It's also delusional to think banning guns will prevent mass killings. There are many ways to kill a lot of people. Driving vehicles into crowds of people, for example, is one very easy way. How are you going to prevent that? Ban cars?

No, gun ownership is not destroying America. It's one of the things that has historically made America great. The Founding Fathers wanted to assure that governments from within can always be properly opposed. I'll gladly give up my AR-15, but only when the police and military give up theirs.

Matthew Saville's picture

Oh good grief, please don't let guns into this discussion. I DARE you both to show some self-control, and restrict the discussion to thoughts on how "left wing" and "right wing" politics are affecting property values alone, and nothing else. There's more than enough arguing to be done on that one topic, and guns have nothing to do with this discussion. ;-)

Actually, I'm not the one that brought up guns. I'm also not afraid to address the source of the problem, and the problems related to this story are many. If this part of the discussion doesn't interest you then don't read and respond to it.

Matthew Saville's picture

"They started it!" = kindergarden argument.

If you both feel compelled to beat this non-sequitur horse, then obviously I can't stop you. "It's a free country" as they also say in kindergarden.

I was just challenging you both to avoid a tangent that I suspect NOBODY wants to read, at least not here on a photography website.

Funny that you mentioned kindergarten because you rudely addressed us as if we were children, and you're continuing to do the same but now even worse.

In normal discourse people often stray a bit from the original topic, even though the things I mentioned are actually related to the story, whether you like it or not. It boils down to the oppressive and fascistic governments that exist in CA and other democratically controlled states that have made them increasingly difficult to live in.

As for discourse on this site, one of the wonderful things I've seen develop on this site is a refreshingly tolerant view towards that, with many of the writers also contributing. That's a rare thing these days and essentially unheard on other similar sites. It doesn't need self-appointed schoolmasters rudely trying to get in the way of that.

Like I said, if this part of the discussion doesn't interest you then stop reading it and don't respond to it. That would be the rational thing to do.

Finally, you don't get to determine for others what they want to read.

Matthew Saville's picture

It was a respectful "challenge" to refrain from such a non-sequitur. I was being sarcastic at worst.

Ironically, I might even agree with your views on illegal immigration and gun control. I was just sarcastically suggesting that we keep it on-topic.

BTW, it looks like I was right, nobody else wants to argue about guns, or illegal immigration either. And I doubt it was me who stopped them.

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