Performance Audio Blog

Performance Audio is Celebrating 40 Years in Business!

Posted: January 07, 2017

Performance Audio has come a long way, since its humble beginnings 40 years ago. Founded by S. Kevin Lewis, Performance Audio has been a primary supplier of professional sound systems and equipment both regionally and nationally since 1977.

In the late 1980's Performance Audio opened one of the region's first Pro Audio wholesale electronics supply stores. This allowed much more efficient distribution of equipment to a rapidly growing national customer base.

In the 1990's, Performance Audio began providing designs and installation of equipment for Theme Parks, Amusement Attractions, and Trade Shows. This exciting new venture allowed Performance Audio to expand its horizons even further into the entertainment and communication world. Just prior to the 2000 Summer Olympics, Performance Audio was contracted by Technifex, a leading special effects creator and design firm and Fox Studios, to design and install, a special effects audio systems for the Titanic attraction in Sydney, Australia.

To accommodate our growing business, in 2001, Performance Audio consolidated its separate rental and retail locations and built our existing facility in South Salt Lake City, UT. This move brought tighter integration between our varied departments, provided our customers with a one-stop shop for their equipment, rental, and installation needs. It also provided some much-needed breathing room to accommodate the rapid expansion of the business. This move also came just in time for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, hosted by Salt Lake City, and allowed us to better accommodate the audio needs of the Olympics Games and its associated festivities.

With the passing of the original owner in 2002, the business was purchased by four of its long-time employees (Craig Hylton, Chris Fillmore, Rich Smith and Darrin Porter). The new ownership re-focused efforts on providing a top-notch retail and service experience through updated inventory and systems. Under this new leadership, Performance Audio flourished and became a major regional and national supplier in the Pro Audio Industry. Our staff also grew, and by 2007 a staff of 17, had become a staff of 28.

2003 was a monumental year for Performance Audio. We launched our online web store, making it possible to purchase our products online. Since then, our website has been a major source of revenue and a wealth of information, providing pictures, manuals and specs sheets for everyone to browse.

In 2004 Performance Audio joined forces with Kepco, a video oriented company. Kelvin Picket brought his knowledge and expertise to the Performance Audio team, making Performance Audio even more diverse, adding video products to our every growing product offerings.

When the economy took a downturn in 2008, and other pro audio companies closed, Performance Audio tightened the reins, and then, as much as ever, stood out as a leader in the Pro Audio marketplace. Our extensive product offerings, as well as our diverse departments (sales, rentals, service and design) allowed us to forge through this economic slump.

In 2010, we released several iOS apps including the very popular, award-winning dB Meter Pro, a sound pressure level meter for iOS devices. Our other iOS apps include Bit Calc Pro (recording bit-depth & drive space calculator), Mic Pro (a simple an elegant talk-back solution), Tone Gen Pro (tone and noise generator) and Scope pro (oscilloscope). These apps are also available as a bundle called Audio Tool. The Audio Tool bundle also includes our extensive Audio Atlas, an encyclopedia of audio and video terms and definitions. To date, we have sold over 1.1 million copies of our apps.

Between 2008 and 2010 the majority of growth was happening in the retail store and on the web. This lead to the opening of a second retail location, 35 miles south, in Orem, Utah. The Orem location opened on March 9th 2011. The location opened with a staff of five employees, and served as convenient location for our customers in an expanding market.

In 2012, Performance Audio hired Jake Peery to head up our installation and design department. Since then, this department has prospered, doing some very impressive jobs. Recent designs and installations include Rice Eccles Stadium, The Living Planet Aquarium, Lagoon's Cannibal Mega-Coaster, This is the Place State Park, Canyons Resort, The Grand Theater, Rose Wagoner Theater and the Midwest Theater, just to name a few. Installations also include many regional schools, courthouses, event, corporate, and performing arts venues.

In 2014, bursting at the seams from growth, we built a 6,000 square foot addition to house the extensive rental and production inventory. This expansion includes a new rental area, truck-high docks and customer service stations to better facilitate the ever-changing rental side of the business.

2014 was also a very monumental year for Performance Audio as it purchased a lighting and theatrical supplier, GTS (General Theatrical Supply). This addition brought us new and expanded product lines, including stage lighting, gels, movie projectors, theater seating, curtains, theatrical equipment, and lamps. In addition to the supply of lighting equipment, GTS has increased the capabilities in our Rental, System Design and Integration departments.

In late 2015, Performance Audio purchased another local company. BackBeats Drum & Backline. With this acquisition, our rental department expanded to also include drums and a wide variety of musical instruments, as well as hiring their very knowledgeable rental and technical staff members.

Because of the overall growth and the added equipment and employees, we started a second expansion in 2016, and remodeled the building. The new expanded showroom and dedicated listening rooms for microphones and speakers have added a unique experience for our customers. Additionally, we added 9 offices, a small meeting room, a plan room, a second break room, and a new larger conference room to facilitate our staff, and give us the ability to teach classes.

After adding to the list of long-time employees like John, Terry, Byron, Garn, Darrin, Chip, Chris, Ryan, Debbie, Scott, and others, we are now a staff of roughly 60 entertainment professionals who live, eat, and breathe this industry. Our varied backgrounds stretch from being on stage performing to engineering, designing, installing, and everything in-between. The company is what it is because of those who work within these walls.

We just announced a new location in Colorado Springs, CO. It will be open soon and bring our special business model to another state. Expanding our reach to a new market and customers.

We know that you have a choice in where to find your pro-grade equipment and services and we would like to personally thank everyone for shopping with us. Let's make the next 40 years even better!

All year long we will have exclusive sales, giveaways, seminars and more! Stay tuned for new promotions and specials every month to celebrate our first 40 years!

From all of us at the Performance Audio family, thanks again for making the first 40 years a great success.

Chris FillmoreDarrin Porter
OwnerOwner

Performance Audio is Celebrating 40 Years in Business!

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