BIG ROCK, VA – MARCH 25, 2021 — An additional use for the Paul’s Fan Company Southern Gap location was announced this week by Todd Elswick, president of Paul’s Fan Company, who announced the launch of BEAST — Best Equipment and Sport Trailers – a new company focused on the manufacture of custom aluminum sport and utility trailers that will work out of the Paul’s Fan Company location.
Elswick is founder and CEO of BEAST.
The products made by BEAST will be manufactured at the Paul’s Fan Company’s Southern Gap location and as the new company grows, 15 new jobs are projected. The new company will support the region’s increased interest in UTV and outdoor sports activities.
“The BEAST brand has many qualities synonymous with the Paul’s brand – rugged, easy to use and simple to maintain,” Elswick said. “The diamond-plated aluminum trailers are shiny and distinctive; a sharp trailer to see on the road.”
In addition to utility trailers, BEAST will produce custom car haulers and hunting dog truck boxes and trailers.
“We congratulate BEAST as it begins to produce sport and utility trailers in the region,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “It is always great news to share when existing manufacturers in the region find additional ways to grow their businesses with new businesses and add even more jobs to the local economy.”
The BEAST brand was developed as part of the 2019 expansion of Paul’s Fan Company to Southern Gap in Buchanan County and Lee County, Virginia in partnership with the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) and the Buchanan County and Lee County industrial development/ economic development authorities.
In 2019, VCEDA approved an up to $5.6 million loan to the Buchanan County IDA which saw Paul’s Fan Company sign on to occupy the shell building under construction at Southern Gap at that time, bringing with it 40 new full-time jobs and the retention of 42 additional full-time jobs over a 10-year period. The addition of the BEAST Company manufacturing line of aluminum trailers is projected to add another 15 jobs.
Elswick noted that in looking for additional ways to expand and grow outside of the coal realm, Paul’s Fan Company researched diversification options to add long term stability for its highly qualified and skilled employees. As a result, the BEAST Company product brand was developed.
“The BEAST company was founded to support the region first, by creating a foundational product for the region and distributing a scalable product for growth outside Central Appalachia,” Elswick said.
Paul’s Fan Company will be partnering with GENEDGE and the Virginia Manufacturing Extension Partnership, to develop an automated fabrication process estimated to exceed a $1 million capital investment to automate BEAST trailer manufacturing. This investment is expected to increase production up to tenfold, according to the company.
“It is exciting news that Paul’s Fans is expanding their product line to include aluminum trailers for a variety of different applications,” said Buchanan County Marketing/Tourism Director Matthew Fields. “The 15 jobs this new product line will bring along with it will be a wonderful boost to our local economy, on top of the already impressive number of new jobs their relocation to Southern Gap is bringing. The future for Paul’s Fans looks brighter than ever and we could not be more excited for them, and the economic growth opportunity this brings to the county.”
BEAST trailers will be available for sale through local BEAST trailer distributors. For more information, interested persons may visit the BEAST website at beastperformance.com.
About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. www.vceda.us or www.e-Region.org.