ARCHIVED  April 1, 1997

Gaming firm consolidates in Greeley

GREELEY — One of North America’s only companies to both own casinos and manufacture gaming equipment has chosen Greeley as its primary production facility.

International Thunderbird Gaming Corp. of Vancouver, British Columbia, recently closed a manufacturing plant in Charlotte, N.C., and consolidated those operations with an existing research-and-development and manufacturing facility in Greeley. A second, smaller production facility is in Vancouver.

“It didn’t make sense for us to have three manufacturing facilities,´ said Praveen Varshney, vice president of finance for International Thunderbird in Vancouver.

The company now has 28,785 square feet in two buildings at 2123 Second Ave. in Greeley, said local plant manager Audrey Gabel.

The 32 employees in Greeley — 10 of whom are new since the consolidation — help develop new coin-operated gambling terminals as well as touch-screen games and see them through to production. The company has approximately 50 employees altogether in the United States and Canada.

The touch-screen games previously were produced in North Carolina.

“It’s a very lucrative growth industry,” Varshney said. “A lot of our products are for domestic markets in North America.”

In February, however, International Thunderbird purchased an existing casino in Chiclayo, Peru. The company is actively pursuing an acquisition program within the gaming industry. The strategy will target full casinos, casino gaming halls and slot-machine route operations in North America, Asia, South America and the Caribbean.

The company, publicly traded in Canada, earned revenues of $35.4 million in 1996, up 32 percent from the $26.8 million recorded in 1995.

International Thunderbird competes with approximately six other gaming-machine manufacturers in the United States, Varshney said.

The firm formerly was an old mining company that in the mid-1990s made the switch to the gaming industry.

GREELEY — One of North America’s only companies to both own casinos and manufacture gaming equipment has chosen Greeley as its primary production facility.

International Thunderbird Gaming Corp. of Vancouver, British Columbia, recently closed a manufacturing plant in Charlotte, N.C., and consolidated those operations with an existing research-and-development and manufacturing facility in Greeley. A second, smaller production facility is in Vancouver.

“It didn’t make sense for us to have three manufacturing facilities,´ said Praveen Varshney, vice president of finance for International Thunderbird in Vancouver.

The company now has 28,785 square feet in two buildings at 2123 Second Ave. in Greeley, said local plant…

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