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Air service, EDAWN keys to Pestmaster’s relocation

Rob Sabo

Jeff Van Diepen, president and chief executive officer of Pestmaster Services, says his ability to woo potential franchisees got infinitely easier now that he’s relocated his company to south Reno from Bishop, Calif.

Pestmaster, which has 28 franchisees operating in 14 states, including 10 in California and seven in Texas, moved its headquarters to a 12,200-square-foot space at 9716 S. Virginia St. in the Foothill Commerce Park after outgrowing the business capacities of the rural mountain town in Inyo County.

Van Diepen says Bishop’s lack of commercial air service meant potential franchisees typically made a 200-mile drive from Reno to learn more about the company. Being in Reno allows him to easily tap into the town’s traveler-friendly airport and its entertainment options, he says.

“You are kind of out there in no-man’s land when you live in Bishop. Everyone has to drive hundreds of miles, and that made it difficult for franchise prospects and for employee opportunities to evolve. It just created a more difficult environment to grow the business model.

“Having franchisees and prospects fly into an international airport that is as easy to get in and out of as Reno is a big positive for us, as is the availability of nice resorts, hotels and restaurants to entertain them when they are in town.”

Pestmaster, founded in 1979, has maintained a service center in the Truckee Meadows for more than 15 years. The company employs 14 in Reno primarily working in contract administration and performing bid searches.

Pestmaster has three legs on its business model:

* Environmentally friendly pest control services for commercial and residential customers

* Pest, weed and rodent control for electrical substations and electrical operation centers and utility line right-of-ways

* Weed control along rail lines and pest control at rail yard stations.

The company also is among a small handful of pest-control service companies on the Federal General Services Administration schedule, which allows Pestmaster to market its services directly to the federal government.

Chris Fairchild of the brokerage firm Avison Young assisted the company in finding a suitable location. Pestmaster plans to grow its staff to 25 in coming year, creating an estimated $10.5 million in economic impact to the region in five years, says the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada.

Van Diepen says EDAWN’s efforts to attract new business to the region was a key element in his decision to relocate.

“So many of the features and benefits of being in Reno I didn’t even know about until EDAWN came to me. They are a tremendous advocate for Nevada and for Reno. Any question about putting California in the rear view mirror, EDAWN put an exclamation point on and helped me make the final decision as to where we needed to be.”