It’s the little things
“We like the little as much as the big,” Pat Whitten, county manager for Storey County said.
The Tahoe Reno Industrial Center focuses strongly on bringing in the right type of companies to its industrial center. The big names like Tesla, Switch and Wal-mart have a huge impact on the image and future of the center. However, not all 125 businesses that inhabit the TRI Center are names like Zulily and Petsmart. There are businesses smaller in size and visibility too. Here is a sampling of those smaller businesses.
One of the longest standing businesses in the area is Duraflex International, a third or fourth generation family business, according to Whitten. Duraflex diving boards prides itself on making diving equipment. Its Mariflex Model B, which was introduced in 1979, is used exclusively in the Olympics and all international competitions. The company’s story began in 1949 when founder Raymund Rude made an aluminum diving board out of an aircraft wing panel. He refined the design, built machinery and began production. By 1960 the flexibility and performance of the Duraflex diving board had gained worldwide attention. It was the only board used at the 1960 Rome Olympics, according to its website. Thereafter, it became the only board used in the Olympics and all major international competitions. Rude also began producing stands in 1960 to meet demands for a mount structure that would compliment the board. The factory underwent changes beginning in 2005 and the company strives to improve all aspects of the product and business.
Continuing on with athletic equipment, Tachikara also has space in the TRI Center. Tachikara is a world leader in advanced manufacturing methods and innovative materials for athletic balls, according to its website. First established in 1915, the name comes from Japanese mythology’s God of Power. In 1952, Tachikara revolutionized the athletic ball industry with a seamless ball. They continued advancements to increase their athletic ball product, resulting in patents for Loose, as well as Dual, Bladder Construction seen in the manufacturing of volleyballs. Tachikara is committed to staying on the forefront of design, manufacturing and materials for their athletic balls.
Another company that has found its place among the TRI Center is the Pioneer Nut Company. In 1943 Vera Stephans brought her family to a farm in Yuba City, Calif. In 2005, her grandchildren, who now run the company, started laying the groundwork to build a nut processing facility. 2006 marked the opening of Pioneer Nut Company’s processing plant in the TRI Center. It uses state-of-the-art equipment to process the walnuts. Whitten said part of what drove the company to the location was the incentives Nevada had to offer them, including attractive tax packages, lower business costs and less expensive permitting fees.
Kunaki also resides in the TRI Center. It is a CD and DVD manufacturing company that covers publishing, distributing, fulfilling and shipping.
Other smaller companies found in the TRI Center are the Nevada Food Bank, PPG Architectural Coating and Tire Rack.
Whitten said the completion of USA Parkway will be a game changer as the TRIC continues to grow. The added accessibility may bring more unique companies to the area.
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.