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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Deleted Account's picture


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.

Alexander Petrenko's picture

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.

Mark Davidson's picture

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.

Deleted Account's picture

"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.

Mark Davidson's picture

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.

Deleted Account's picture

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

"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.)

Mark Davidson's picture

"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.

Ed Rhodes's picture

lol, Texas says "hello"

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.

JetCity Ninja's picture

woohoo! lower prices!

wait, i'm dreaming.

Deleted Account's picture

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

Ryan Daley's picture

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?

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. ;-)

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.

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.

Matthew Saville's picture

I tried to throw you a bone. Oh well.

Anonymous's picture

Stop controlling me with your reasonable appeals! :)

Anonymous's picture

Some people just need to be heard in any format they can latch on to. It's therapeutic for those who are lonely or feel helpless. If someone needs a space to feel listened to or find worth in their lives, so be it.

Best for others to just ignore them and let them vent. Unless, of course, they're being utter morons and you wish to call them out on it. In that case, have at it.

Anonymous's picture

No, I’m not. And I wouldn’t be so quick to throw out such accusations. I meant every word of it. It’s not my problem if you’re offended.

Anonymous's picture

Ah I see. You disagree with something, and you instantly jump to silence me.

How incredibly hypocritical.

Again, not my problem if you’re feelings were hurt. I’m free to voice my opinion.

Anonymous's picture

I expect an apology when you’re done with these accusations and threats. Reevaluate yourself here, man.

Deleted Account's picture

Bob, sometimes I forget that you're not Dwight Schrute.

Anonymous's picture

And I didn't forget about that apology which is due to me.

I'm still here, so you're "friends" in high places don't consider me a troll.

Say you're sorry for these accusations and threats, Bob.

Anonymous's picture

Huh. Doesn’t sound much like an apology to me; it sounds like your tail’s between your legs.

Still hope you learned your lesson not to try to silence people. We’ll have to wait and see.

And I still very much stand by my original statement on this thread. If anything, you’re actions here have shown the accuracy of what I said. Didn’t necessarily plan on calling out moronic behavior in this instance, but here we are.

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