Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Las Vegas architectural firm shutters its doors

The realities of the economic marketplace are causing Las Vegas, Nevada-based Trevi Architectural to close on Friday, according to an article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The firm has provided custom fountains, statuary, sculptures, columns and moldings to resorts including Wynn Las Vegas, Wynn Macau, The Venetian, and Caesars Palace, but company founder Scott Acton told the newspaper that a combination of factors led the to the business' closing, including a series of unpaid bills and a decision by the company's new owners not to put any more cash into the business.

Most of the company's 147 workers were fired Monday, Acton told the newspaper. He would not say how much work is outstanding, but the article said he is trying to get orders moved to other companies. "I don't want to see any one of my customers get hurt," said Acton, who was named Nevada small businessperson of the year by the Small Business Administration in 2005.

Private equity firm Ampersand Ventures bought Trevi Manufacturing on Sept. 17, 2007, changing the name to Trevi Architectural, according to the article. According to Acton, Ampersand decided recently not to put more money into the business.

The company did double its sale volume after the transaction, but when a few vendors refused to pay outstanding bills, Trevi got into a "sticky situation," as Acton described it to the newspaper. A pair of lawsuits have been filed since May by the firm in Clark County District Court claiming unpaid bills totaling nearly $108,000.

When the newspaper called Ampersand's office in Wellesley, Massachusetts, the story claims an employee said, "We don't talk to the press."

According to the article, Ampersand was founded in 1988 as a spinoff of PaineWebber.

Acton's work is part of the Las Vegas backdrop. His work includes the three-tiered fountain in front of The Venetian, the pirate ships at Treasure Island, and the cove moldings behind light fixtures at Caesars Palace, according to the article.

Acton told the newspaper he is not sure what he will do next, but said he is thinking of restarting the business.


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