BARNEVELD – One of the largest suppliers of hunting and birding scopes and binocular optics in the U.S. and beyond is moving its facilities to the Village of Barneveld.
Vortex Optics is constructing a building along Highway 18-151, off exit 58, 31 miles west of Madison.
Vortex Headquarters, as the owners call the new building and location, will be occupied in spring 2018, according to Joe Hamilton, son of owner Dan Hamilton.
“This will be our epicenter. We plan to move everything from Middleton to Vortex Headquarters,” Joe Hamilton said. “People, who have heard about Vortex, or Eagle, may want to make a trek to us to see our headquarters. We’ll show them around and if they want to purchase a diamondback rifle scope; we’re not going to send them away. We’ll sell it to them right here, but that’s not our main purpose for the move and construction.”
Three other sons, twins Sam and Dave, and Jim, also work for Vortex. Shamus Terry, a rural resident of Iowa County, is the company’s dealer sales manager and international sales manager.
With the move, Vortex Optics, and its sister company, Eagle Optics, hope to serve customers of riflescopes, red dots, rangefinders, binoculars, monoculars and spotting scopes even better and more efficiently than they are able to do presently from their Middleton location. The company has been located in Middleton since 1997, under the name of Eagle Optics. Vortex Optics commenced in 2002.
Prior to starting Eagle Optics and Vortex Optics, Dan Hamilton, and his wife Margie, owned and operated Wild Birds Unlimited in the Madison area.
It was then that Hamilton saw the need for more quality optics for birders that led to the development of Eagle Optics, which was initially located in their Wild Birds store.
Before managing Wild Birds, Hamilton was a dentist.
“Vortex is a word my dad (Dan Hamilton) liked and it gave the impression of a lot going on, a lot of energy, excitement, and force. He was adamant about not using the family name for a company,” Joe Hamilton said.
“The Barneveld community was very welcoming, accommodating and could share the vison we had for our company’s growth. It is a strategic location and beautiful setting for our company and seemed like a natural fit for our new headquarters,” said Dan Hamilton, president of Vortex Optics.
Dan Hamilton’s philosophy toward hunters, birders, tactical optics users, and customers in general, is about the customer, about the dealer.
“We like to say, ‘it’s about you, the customer,’” Joe Hamilton said.
Vortex boasts of its VIP experience and VIP warranty.
“We like to think we have the best product for the best price and are best known for our VIP warranty. Everything you buy that is a Vortex product is repaired or replaced free. There are no warrant cards, no receipts to keep; everything is fully transferable,” Joe Hamilton said.
“When someone calls or walks in we have a friendly person who answers the phone, shakes their hand, gets them coffee and gets them to where they need to go to get help.”
“If it’s Canada or Florida, the customer is No. 1, bar none,” Terry said. “It’s that Western hospitality. Treat people like you want to be treated.”
Currently Vortex/Eagle has about 200 employees.
Their rifle scopes range from $100 to $2,500.
"Of course we think we are the best, but for sure we would be in the conversation when someone is talking about the top five best rifle scopes, whether it is in the $100 range or the $2,500 range," Joe Hamilton said.
As Vortex completes construction, other components and businesses may be considered along with this development, but those have not been finalized; many others have not been planned.