Creel Printing : Betting on GrowthOctober 2009 By Erik Cagle
ONE OF the most visible signs of the economic turmoil this country is experiencing can be seen in Las Vegas. America's capital of excess and debauchery, the casino strip, has experienced sobering realities. When money is short, so is the tolerance for fun and games.
According to an Associated Press report, north of one million fewer people visited Vegas casinos in 2008 than in 2007, a drop of 3.8 percent in foot traffic. One of the nation's favorite whipping boys, the downtrodden housing market, and its disastrous consequences, has been keenly felt in Sin City. A CNN report lists Las Vegas as having the second-highest rate of foreclosures (8.9 percent) in the nation among metropolitan cities last year. While home sales may be increasing, about two-thirds of the properties sold are bank owned.
This begs the question: Has doing business in Las Vegas surpassed impulse weddings and blowing your life savings at the craps table in the colossal remorse department? Don't count Creel Printing among those crying in their coin buckets.
A Steady Ascent
The growth of multi-faceted Creel, a reputable Las Vegas-based sheetfed and heatset and coldset web printer since 1953, flies in the face of the difficulty being experienced by the casinos. The publication, catalog, direct mail and commercial printer has cruised along the fast track during the past 10 years, growing its staff from 160 employees to 600 and two plants. It ranked 53rd on the Printing Impressions 400 ranking in 2008 with annual sales of $117 million.
While Creel Printing has not been immune to the negative splash created by the down economy, it isn't about to stray from its course of embracing the highest efficiencies and the latest technologies throughout its organization.
"Our company has been doing well," states Allan Creel Jr., company president. "Obviously, the economy has had its effect on everyone. We're maintaining current customers, as well as gaining new accounts. And we're still planning an expansion in 2010, along with some consolidation of existing equipment as a result of new capital equipment purchases.
"Overall, we haven't seen growth that we have in the past. In 2008, we were probably about even from 2007, and 2009 will end up close to that," he adds.
Aiding that cause is the acquisition of a new Goss Sunday 2000 web press, which is tentatively slated to be installed in 2010. The 57˝-wide press, which features eight units and a two-web system, will come equipped with a Goss pinless combination folder for producing magazine signatures of up to 48 pages or tabloid signatures up to 32 pages.