Stray finds home

By on August 26, 2016

 

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Stray Production Services is one of the first local vendors to sign lease at Rock Lititz $100 million campus

By Patrick Burns

An only slightly cryptic video released Monday on Stray Production Services’ Facebook page showed employees packing up their belongings in a trailer along with one of the company’s two trademark goats that graze outside its current location at 172 N. Oak St. in Lititz.

The video ends with the trailer pulling away with a sign attached “Rock Lititz or Bust.”

Company founder Chris Strayer, a lifetime Lititz resident, confirmed Tuesday that Stray Production has booked one of the first spaces on the nearly completed Pod 2 section of the Rock Lititz campus.

With the lease comes access to internationally renowned teams of stage, sound, design and lighting associated with Tait, Clair Global, Atomic and others who collaborate to package glitzy, high-tech, robotic, multi-media extravaganzas that global concert-goers have come to expect.

Company founders Melody and  Chris Strayer, confirmed Tuesday that Stray Production has booked one of the first spaces on the nearly completed Pod 2 section of the Rock Lititz campus.

Company founders Melody and Chris Strayer, confirmed Tuesday that Stray Production has booked one of the first spaces on the nearly completed Pod 2 section of the Rock Lititz campus.

The company, which he operates with his wife Melody, had emerged as a rising force in the Lititz entertainment scene since its launch in 1999 as a lighting company serving live events.

Strayer described the company’s ability to create lighting designs of “brilliant color to unique texture and creative execution, with a full complement of production services.”

It became hard to not notice Strayer’s light and sound work, including highly visible events such as Fourth of July in Lititz Springs Park, Lititz Bike Race, Manheim Rock-N-Glow 5K, Lititz Craft Beer Fest; Lititz Halloween Parade, and Fire & Ice event it has done gratis since 2013 &tstr; and will do so again in 2016.

Strayer said he was compelled to move after an encouraging meeting six months ago that included Troy Clair and Rock Lititz General Manager Andrea Shirk who urged him to join the campus.

“Being just a small fish in the sea, we’re just gracious and humbled by their generosity and their kindness to us,” said Strayer, whose company is tentatively set to move into Rock Lititz Dec. 1.

Strayer said the company had known for some time of the move and kind of burst with pride in finally releasing the going-away video which “we shot two months ago.”

Ironically, the company only a year ago built an additional 2,000-feet of space at its Oak Street facility. Despite the added space, employees are already “almost to the point of tripping over stuff.”

Knowing of the impending growth and move, Strayer “slowly but steadily expanded our staff trying to ensure that we can offer the best customer service that we feel is possible.”

Upon leaving a meeting in which he signed the lease with Shirk, Tait, and Clair, Strayer immediately reflected on the gravity of his company’s association with Rock Lititz, thinking “this isn’t just signing a lease at some building.”

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Photo: Stray Production Services

“The (Rock Lititz) people came out shook my hand, gave me hugs and told me ‘welcome to the family’ &tstr; they were super encouraging,” he said. “When they say welcome to the family, I don’t believe it to be one bit of lip service. They truly mean what they’re saying.”

The caption to the Facebook video read “This is a giant, scary step for our little company, but we could not be more thrilled to be joining the kindest, most creative team of innovators and collaborators.”

Strayer said he was able to work with Rock Lititz on the design of the interior of its new space within Pod 2’s quarter-million-square-feet and even shape its exterior “as far as being able to load company and customer’s trucks.

Stray won’t become part of Rock Lititz’s concert touring team but will continue to serve the local area from the campus.

The move, he said, immediately makes the company more organized and positioned to grow beyond merely on a physical level.

Neighbors at Rock Lititz will include about 20 other industry vendors whom Strayer may “eat lunch with” and collaborate on various projects.

“I’m looking forward to learning things from people I would consider veterans and pros in the industry,” he said.

Being based out of Lititz, which has become known as the rock concert capital of the world, he said people often immediately say “oh your business is like Clair, Atomic and Tait Towers.”

Strayer team installed this set at Keystone Church.

Strayer team installed this set at Keystone Church. Photo: Stray Production Services

“I say no, the difference between us and them is those companies are essentially international businesses – Clair has offices all over the world,” he said. “We are very much a local company and that’s really our focus.”

So while Clair, Atomic and Tait are experts in behemoth concert tours &tstr; often constructing and deconstructing stages in different cities every day, they’re not suited to do Strayer’s niche of “one-off events” created or happening only once and not repeated.

“So that’s the difference between what they’re doing and what we’re doing,” he said. “They’re very much supporting the national markets on a large scale and we’re here to support the local market whether that be a small scale wedding or a corporate event, a rental, church function or a high-end party. Our mission is to support on a local level.”

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Fire and Ice Stray Production Services

While one of the Oak Street goats made it in Stray’s highly popular Facebook, going-away video, no goats will accompany the move to the new Rock Lititz facilities.

“Sadly they are not moving with us to Rock Lititz but the goats will stay in Lititz where many locals stop by to see them while walking the neighborhood,” Strayer said.

Patrick Burns is social media editor and staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455

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