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That’s a wrap:
by Cortney Maddock
Aug 27, 2009 | 2192 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Cortney Maddock -
Kurt Neller, who is with the company Dr. Shrink, demonstrates how to use the special plastic used by Fast Wrap to shrink wrap a product for storage or transportation purposes.
Tribune/Cortney Maddock - Kurt Neller, who is with the company Dr. Shrink, demonstrates how to use the special plastic used by Fast Wrap to shrink wrap a product for storage or transportation purposes.
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Taking the idea of using plastic to shield valuables from the harsh elements of northern Nevada, Fast Wrap has a unique way to wrap and store everything from cars, boats and patio furniture to construction projects.

Fast Wrap started in Reno and now has 27 franchised shops around the United States and Canada.

“Fast Wrap USA is based out of Reno,” said Mark Levrett, owner of the Reno Fast Wrap. “It is the only franchise based out of Nevada.”

Fast Wrap is also innovative in that the company uses relatively new technology to wrap various items in plastic. Levrett explained the need for using Fast Wrap is more than just for storage. There are multiple uses for the product, he said.

“There is a company called Dr. Shrink,” Levrett said. “In the early ’90s Dr. Shrink found needs for shrink wrap and he developed the product into what it is today.”

That product is a plastic that comes in multiple colors — including white, blue, green and brown — and varying thickness from 7 to 12mm. Levrett said some of the needs the plastic wrap might accommodate are everything from household chores, such as covering and storing patio furniture, to business operations such as shipping large or oddly shaped objects.

“Green and blue you want to use in the winter because it will attract heat,” Levrett explained. “You wouldn’t want to use those colors during the summer because you wouldn’t want any unnecessary heat.”

Levrett said Fast Wrap has worked with local construction companies to wrap job sites that need to stay warm in the cold months.

“(Fast Wrap) wrapped the airport tower so they could keep a constant temperature inside during the winter,” Levrett said. “We also did the ballpark for the Reno Aces last winter, again to keep a constant temperature.”

Levrett said Fast Wrap also works well for home construction jobs.

“I can create a barrier so the dust and debris doesn’t get everywhere. It is a way to keep all that mess away from clients, customers and homeowners.”

Levrett explained that when using Fast Wrap for in-home construction work, the company creates a barrier with the specially formulated plastic, shrinks it and then puts a plastic zipper door into the barrier.

On Wednesday, Kurt Neller from Dr. Shrink was at Fast Wrap in Reno to help train people new to the Fast Wrap franchise. Neller said Dr. Shrink works with the Fast Wrap companies to offer service and support and to help with training. Training, in this case, means learning how to shrink the plastic with a special propane torch in a manner that will not burn or tear the plastic.

Neller demonstrated how to use the special torch to heat the plastic and then used the back of his hand to help seal the folds and seams of the shrink wrap that would become a sort of shell around an air boat that was being covered.

Similar to a boat cover or tarp, Fast Wrap keeps whatever it covers dry and clean but it is also applied in a way that seals and preserves the object it is covering.

“I have numerous classic cars,” Levrett said, adding that he keeps some of them at his sister’s house in Spanish Springs but under the condition that they stay covered. “Once a week I would have to drive out to my sister’s house to fix the tarps that were covering the cars.”

Levrett said by using Fast Wrap to cover the cars, he saves time and money on traveling to his sister’s house to fix the tarps because he know the Fast Wrap will stay in place and not be affected by the wind or the weight of snow sitting on the car.

Yet, when it is time to take off the Fast Wrap and enjoy the boat, car, ATV or patio furniture underneath, Levrett said the plastic does not go into the trash.

“That was one of (Mike (Enos’) biggest things and mine, too,” Levrett said. “We are in a time when people are very conscious of plastic and what is in the landfill.”

Enos, who Levrett said was the person who research and started Fast Wrap because he wanted a better way to store his boat in the winter, thought it was important to offer a product that could be recycled.

Levrett said when a customer removes Fast Wrap that the plastic can be put into a UPS pre-paid packet and shipped to the plastic recycling company in the Midwest. He said it is called the REBAG program.

Although Levrett has only been at the helm of Fast Wrap for about one month, he said he is happy he bought the business, even if he was skeptical at first. Levrett, who owned and operated Levco Transmis-sion for more than 15 years, said after being laid off from a car racing team in October 2008 that he was told by a friend to talk to Enos about Fast Wrap.

Levrett was unsure about the advice and took at job at Torchmate instead. After finishing a job at Torchmate, Fast Wrap was called to shrink wrap the plasma table and ship it, Levrett said. After seeing the product in use, his ideas about Fast Wrap changed.

“There is more applications here than wrapping swamp coolers and boats,” Levrett said of his epiphany.

Levrett said the company is gearing up for its busy season.

“Right now we’re kind of in our down time,” Levrett said. “Once everyone is ready to get into winter mode, then the phone will start ringing.”

Levrett said Fast Wrap can shrink wrap summer equipment like ATVs, boats, jet skiis and other bulky items at might be hard to store.

“I can wrap my girls’ quads and sit them outside,” Levrett said. “Before I used to use a tarp. This way they don’t take up space in the garage.”

Levrett said that to get something wrapped could cost between $4 and $14 per linear foot depending on the size and shape of the job.

“We want to offer a service that is second to none,” Levrett said, adding that quality and professionalism are at their highest standards at Fast Wrap.

For those interested in franchising, the cost runs between $98,000 and $198,000 with an average cost of $144,000. The initial franchise cost includes training, support, tools and products (enough to do “a lot of boats and wrapping”) and a marketing package with direct mail pieces, fliers and brochures

For more information on Fast Wrap, or to get something wrapped, call 425-1333 or visit www.fastwrapusa.com.

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