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The Creel Deal

June 1999
Las Vegas is the home of Creel Printing, a heatset web and sheetfed commercial printer that's betting heavily on the payoff of digital prepress.


BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO


Las Vegas. The most infamous desert oasis. A city that never sleeps. Towering casinos, massive neon billboards, throngs of vacationers, glittering wedding chapels. Decadent, opulent—and a few other descriptive dents. No wonder legends played here: Sinatra, Elvis, Creel.

What's that, not familiar with Creel? Creel Printing just happens to be one of the largest commercial printers in Nevada, operating in the shadows of Las Vegas' most famous casinos—Bally's, Harrah's, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Circus Circus, Luxor and many more.

Yet, amidst all this extravagance, Creel Printing is anything, itself, but extravagant. This general commercial printer, which specializes in high-end catalogs, publications and promotional materials, is very well grounded. Allan Creel, the namesake and visionary of this family owned printing concern, is the primary reason for the company's confidence, prudence and steadfast productivity.

Creel, the man, is mild-mannered, thoughtful, extremely pleasant and considerate. A silent power, Allan Creel obviously is a significant force to be reckoned with if the company's standards are compromised in any way. At the same time, he's a champion to his employees—some 160 workers operating a company that, like the city in which it resides, does not sleep.

Creel Printing operates 24/7, generating $60 million in annual revenues between its Las Vegas headquarters and a second facility in Southern California, the recently acquired Frye & Smith, located in Costa Mesa. The Las Vegas plant does approximately $40 million in sales annually. Nine sales representatives work both locations, selling Creel's printing capabilities nationally.

Creel Printing reports that roughly 25 percent of its business is captured locally in Las Vegas, primarily consisting of convention materials. The remaining 75 percent of Creel's business consists of clientele from around the United States, largely in the form of magazines, catalogs, promotional materials and advertising.

Creel, the man, would also operate 24/7 if his human condition did not require him to rest. Putting his family before his company, however, is paramount to this seasoned graphic arts veteran. The son of a Chicago-born linotype operator turned entrepreneur, Creel's father established the firm in Las Vegas in 1953. Genuine, patient—yet formidable—are the personality traits that Allan Creel recalls as being most striking about his father.

Keeping the business all in the family, Allan Creel's wife, Debbie, is chief financial officer, and his oldest daughter, Christy Creel, is in sales. Creel has three other children. The two youngest Creel children currently attend colleges in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, and are strongly considering joining the family business after their graduations.
 

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