Valley-Dynamo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Logo of Valley-Dynamo Limited Partnership.

Valley-Dynamo, Inc. (officially Valley-Dynamo Limited Partnership or VDLP for short) is a gaming and sporting goods manufacturing company. It has been the dominant manufacturer of coin-operated pool tables in North America for over 6 decades,[1] and produces the US-ubiquitous Valley brand and decreasingly common Dynamo brand (once a competitor). The company also manufactures other market-leader brand names,[2] including Tornado brand table football (foosball), Dynamo air hockey, and Champion indoor shuffleboard tables, as well as Sun Glo shuffleboard equipment, for both the home and coin-op markets.

The company has distributors in some two dozen countries.[citation needed] Annual sales were up to US$15–17 mil, as of May 2009, at which time Valley-Dynamo employed around 125 workers in its larger centers (approximately 60 at the Champion factory in Texas, 40 at the Valley plant in Mexico (since relocated to Texas), and 25 or so at a 55,000 sq ft (5,100 m2) Grand Prairie distribution center),[2] plus office support staff, and employees of Valley-operated leagues (see below).

History[edit]

As Valley Co., the original company was founded by Earl Feedick in 1947 in Bay City, Michigan, where it remained under the auspices of a series of controlling companies including Kidde Inc., U.S. Industries, and Fenway Partners with Rickett still the majority shareholder. In 1999, then known as Valley Recreation Products, Valley absorbed and merged with both Tornado Table Sports and Dynamo Corp., and centralized operations at the Dynamo facilities in Richland Hills, Texas[1] (a Dallas-Ft. Worth suburb).

The increasingly market-dominant enterprise was bought for US$34.5 million by, and was made a subsidiary of, Brunswick Corporation in 2003, as Valley-Dynamo LLC. Brunswick moved Valley-Dynamo's manufacturing operations to Reynosa, Mexico in 2006. In 2009, Valley-Dynamo "was acquired by a limited partnership controlled by Kelye Stites," owner of Champion Shuffleboard Ltd., "and other businesses in the Dallas/Fort Worth area."[1] The sale amount was not disclosed, but was rumored to be surprisingly low (3 to 5 million...a steal).[2] Stites, the son-in-law of Valley Co. founder Rickett, decided to move pool and air hockey table production from Mexico back to Texas.[3] Under the new partnership, in which Stites is the majority owner,[3] Valley-Dynamo absorbed Champion's shuffleboard brand rather than vice versa, with Stites citing Valley-Dynamo's widespread brand name recognition.[2]

Leagues[edit]

Valley-Dynamo created, and wholly owns, the highly competitive, international amateur Valley National 8-Ball League Association (VNEA; no longer accurately named – since the 1990s it has become multinational and includes nine-ball and other pool disciplines). All VNEA matches must be played on Valley-Dynamo tables. The company also founded the Valley International Foosball Association (VIFA).[4] The majority of American Poolplayers Association (APA) matches are also played on Valley-Dynamo tables, including the APA International Championships,[2] although APA has no rules with regard to what brand or size of table is used.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Montano, Nick (May 13, 2009). "Valley-Dynamo Is Under New Ownership". Vending Times. 49 (5). Rockville Centre, NY: Vending Times Inc. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e Austin, John (May 15, 2009). "Shuffleboard Entrepreneur Expands Table-game Empire: Buys a Company That His Father-in-law Founded". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Fort Worth, TX: McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. Archived from the original on May 23, 2009. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Valley-Dynamo 'Reborn in Texas' at New U.S. Production Facility" (PDF). Valley-Dynamo.com. Richland Hills, TX: Valley-Dynamo LP. August 18, 2009. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
  4. ^ "VIFA Home Page". VIFA.com. Bay City, MI: Valley International Foosball Association. 2009. Retrieved November 20, 2009.

External links[edit]