Blue Planet Lighting Hometown Hero Finalist Article
September 10, 2010 - Hollister, Missouri
Source: PLSN Magazine - Written by Kevin M. Mitchell
Hometown Hero Finalist - Blue Planet Lighting
Companies driven by people doing what they love to do most are what make a "hometown hero." There's a lot of passion in this eclectic collection chosen by the readers of PLSN. Some are old, some are new, some gear is borrowed (a.k.a. cross-rented), and one company is even blue.
Blue Planet Lighting has been nominated two of the three years it's been in business. It's an honor that partners Kelly Koster and Mike Gormley are proud of. But they are also proud of the way they choose to do business.
"We opened this company debt-free with the intention of keeping it that way," Gormley proclaims. He adds that because of this philosophy, they've been able to skate over the "Great Recession" - and even has hired two more employees. While they are located in the vibrant Branson market, they have worked hard to reach beyond it.
"Branson is a nice market, and was 100 percent of our business in the beginning," he says. "Today it's only a quarter of our business." But it's still important as they supply the area theatres and theme parks with gear and expendables. In July, several area attractions upgraded their existing lighting control consoles including Silver Dollar City and the Branson Variety Theater. And let's not forget the updated theatre lighting in the Yakov Smirnoff Theater for his Moscow Circus. (Who could forget anything Yakov related?)
Blue Planet Lighting was formed from the Branson-area Koster Design LLC. Prior to starting the company, Koster was a lighting designer and technician on tours. Gormley started in the business running spotlight for Ray Stevens and evolved into an LD.
Because of their "only game in town" status, they are able to be dealers for High End, Clay Paky, Vari-Lite, Elation, Chauvet and "all the big brands," Koster says. Gormley says they do a lot of marketing. "We have some of the best employees in the business, and that gets our name out a lot." They launched Light Nation Radio, the first radio station dedicated to entertainment lighting professionals, which they continue to develop. They also have launched prolightingsupply.com, which Gormley says is growing.
Lately they've been doing a lot of school, theatre, and church business, including The Northview Christian Life Church in Carmel Indiana. They put in 5,000 pounds of ETC Fixtures into their 2,000 seat auditorium. They designed, installed, and trained the church personnel. Last year they completed a Philips Color Kinetics LED Installation in the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium.
For more information on this story you can contact Blue Planet at 417-332-1313 or email them at: email@example.com
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