Posted: Sept 2009
Fireplace Manufacturer, Travis Industries, Hosts 30th Anniversary Factory Event Showcasing New Products, Latest Technology and Recent Hearth Industry Legislation.
Mukilteo, WA. From modest beginnings of its first wood stove built outside a Seattle-area backyard, Lopi the original brand of Travis Industries celebrated its 30-year milestone in style. On August 29th, 2009, Travis Industries hosted a giant Lopi Family Reunion: 30th Anniversary Party in Mukilteo, WA, at its 11-acre manufacturing facility called the House of Fire. Travis Industries’ products are sold under four high-quality consumer brands: Avalon, Fireplace Xtrordinair, Lopi and Tempest Torch, and available exclusively from 1,200 authorized retailers throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and even China.
While the celebration boasted thousands of attendees, five live bands, one hot-air balloon, factory tours of the 11-acre facility, and over 100 fireplaces, stoves and inserts on display (including the very first Lopi stove built back in 1979) the areas of most interest to attendees were the following:
- $1,500 Consumer Tax Credit on Bio-Mass Burning Stoves: The Recovery Act of 2009 includes a 30% consumer tax credit (up to $1,500) for the purchase of 75%-efficient wood and pellet-burning stoves, fireplaces and inserts. All Lopi, Avalon and Fireplace Xtrordinair energy-efficient bio-mass products 37 models in all meet or exceed the 75%-efficiency standard and qualify for the tax credit savings.
- New Energy-Efficient System in Gas Fireplaces, Inserts and Stoves: New energy-efficient gas fireplaces, inserts and stoves powered by a revolutionary system called GreenSmart heats the home while saving on energy usage and lowering heating bills. This revolutionary system features the feature the most innovative collection of components, controls and technology that when combined provides an elegant, smarter and greener way to heat the home.
- House of Fire Factory Tours: The event featured a behind-the-scenes look at how Travis-brand fireplaces, stoves and inserts are actually made at our world-class, 11-acre manufacturing facility called the House of Fire. The tour highlighted all aspects of the production process from raw materials to finished product with many commenting the facility tour was like a real-life version of ‘How It’s Made’ on the Discovery Channel.
- New Anniversary-Edition, Wood-Burning Inserts: Lopi is celebrating its 30th year with two classic and energy-efficient, wood-burning inserts. The Republic 1250i and 1750i come equipped with the latest in wood-burning technology to maximize heat output and lower heating bills, at a price point worth celebrating.
- Support of American-Made Manufacturing: From modest beginnings of its first wood stove built outside a Seattle-area backyard in 1979, into the largest, privately-owned wood, pellet and gas stove, insert and fireplace company in America attendees were amazed at the high-quality, American-made products. Even better, attendees reveled at how we’re even exporting products to Canada, Australia and even into China an anomaly in today’s economy where most products are imported into the United States, not exported.
In addition to celebrating this 30-year milestone, the event was a culmination of many exciting industry and product developments,said Kurt Rumens, president of Travis Industries, Inc. Exciting energy-efficient technologies, new anniversary-edition models, governmental tax credit savings this is a very exciting time in the history of our industry.
ABOUT TRAVIS INDUSTRIES: Travis Industries is the largest, privately-owned wood, pellet and gas stove, insert and fireplace manufacturer in America. Travis Industries’ products are sold under four high-quality consumer brands: Avalon, Fireplace Xtrordinair, Lopi and Tempest Torch, and available exclusively from 1,200 authorized retailers throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and even China. For more information, visit: www.travisindustries.com or call 800-654-1177.
Posted: January 2008
Travis Industries History
In 1977, Kurt Rumens first began selling stoves to supplement his income as a rock musician. Soon, some retailers started suggesting product improvements so he drafted sketches incorporating the best ideas and submitted back to his manufacturer. He quickly received a terse letter telling him to stick to selling and not product development; but recognizing the importance of aesthetics and efficiency in hearth design, he used the feedback as the foundation for his own hearth products company. So in 1979, he created what is now known as Lopi. The next year, Lopi pioneers the now standardized use of clear ceramic glass and a pre-heated airwash system within wood stoves to keep the fire-viewing opening clean. In 1984, Lopi becomes the first U.S. hearth products manufacturer to develop an EPA-certified, non-catalytic wood stove. Today, Lopi is the brand now known for its American classic style of innovation into its high-performance wood, gas and pellet burning stoves, fireplaces and inserts. www.lopistoves.com
In 1985, the Avalon brand of stoves is developed and quickly emerges as a leading line of wood stoves, only to be rated one of the cleanest-burning line of wood stoves in the world by industry expert, Daniel J. Melcon. Today, the Avalon brand is known for its beautiful wood, gas and pellet fireplaces, stoves and inserts, featuring organic styling and natural design. www.avalonfirestyles.com
In 1988, Travis Garske purchases both Lopi and Avalon and renames the company Travis Industries, Inc. Travis-brand products are well-known throughout the hearth industry for their breakthrough product designs and trendsetting development of new industry categories including:
- Ember Fyre burner system awarded the Best of What’s New by Popular Science magazine for the year 2000.
- Bed & Breakfast portrait-style fireplace and category in the year 2002.
- The Xtreme an elongated, five-foot-long fireplace awarded the Best-in-Show Vesta Award honoring design, innovation and technology in the year 2007.
- Tempest Torch featuring a spinning, spiral-like flame for a dramatic outdoor torch – another Best-in-Show Vesta Award winner in the year 2007.
In 1992, Travis Industries acquires Fireplace Xtrordinair a brand that quickly emerges as the elite line of gas fireplaces and inserts. Today, Fireplace Xtrordinair is an elite line of gas and wood fireplaces and inserts with the finest styling, efficiency and numerous options for a custom look designed to complement a broad range of architectural styles matching every décor. www.fireplacex.com
In 2007, the Tempest Torch line of gas torches is launched and awarded the Best-in-Show Vesta Award honoring design, innovation and technology within the Hearth, Patio and Barbeque Industry. The Tempest Torch literally breaks the barriers of standard torch design, featuring a spinning, spiral-like flame for a dramatic presentation of dancing fire. www.tempesttorch.com
Today, Travis Industries is the largest, privately-owned wood, pellet and gas stove, insert and fireplace company in America, maker of four high-quality brands: Fireplace Xtrordinair, Avalon, Lopi and Tempest Torch, all available exclusively from a network of more than 1,200 authorized retailers throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and China. Kurt Rumens remains as president and general manager.
Factory Tour in Review
This week’s factory tour was, once again, a huge success. As the attendees came off our production floor and entered the lobby showroom they were buzzing with inquisitive questions and animated recaps of what they’d seen and learned. The sophisticated equipment we use blew everyone away, from the robotic welders to laser cutters to the advanced air filtration system that keeps our production floor clean and aroma free. All especially admired the fact that we are a “Green” building. We strive to be leaders in the effort to be environmentally friendly by not only recycling our air, but by maximizing the use of ALL our materials so that our recyclable waste is kept at a minimum. The sight of isles upon isles of this efficient and progressive technology is made all the more spectacular considering the tour begins with the story of our humble beginnings…one man, a 120 square foot Ballard shop, and an espresso (hey, this is Seattle!)
So, it’s not all about machines and how we minimize our steel recycling; although we do find that stuff pretty fascinating and could probably drone on about it for hours. We also discuss the history of the company and the story behind what makes us special. Rochelle, visiting us from Vermont, said “I was amazed to hear about the longevity of the employees,” as she glanced up at our giant ‘Then & Now’ poster.
This is what comes from a group dedicated not only to making the best product decade after decade, but to creating a family environment that encourages levity, enthusiasm and creativity day after day.
Grant, also from Vermont, expressed his appreciation towards his Lopi Endeavor woodstove during a TWO WEEK long power outage a couple of years ago in the New England area. It doubled perfectly as a heater and a cooktop stove. You’re quite welcome Grant. We’re glad we could help.
Though we were sad to see them leave, we said farewell to a happy and well fed tour group who was eager to tell friends and family about their morning. I want to give a big “Thank you!” to everyone who came to visit, and I hope you come back to take the tour again. We’d love to have you, and I know that every time I meander through the 11 acres here we like to call ‘home’ I learn something new.
(Left to Right) Jim, Rochelle, Kurt Rumens (Pres.), Jim Holt (Prod. Dev. Coord.), Grant