25 Years Serving the Parking Industry
2012 was Pacific Cascade’s 25th year in business. Parking Today recently caught up with Mark Curtis, Founder, President and CEO
of the Vancouver, WA, company.
Why Pacific Cascade? Did it fulfill some need you saw?
We opened Pacific Cascade Corp. [PCC] on July 1, 1987, when I developed a new design for parking honor boxes. Then I noticed a void for the parking industry – a central location to find all the supplies to run a successful parking operation.
Customers would come to me and ask, “You carry this item, but where can I find this or find that?” So that’s how The Parking Zone was born.
I also became interested in parking automation and system integration, so I started DGM Systems, which services parking facilities throughout the Northwest.
You are in a great office building – did you start here?
No, we started in a small execu-suite, but we did our manufacturing/assembly of our first honor boxes in the living room of our 720-square-foot home at the time. Those were the days; just ask my wife, Pam (she has pictures to prove it).
Since then, we have been in one other location until we’ve grown to the point where we needed this great space. Here we can have our offices, warehouse for our parking supplies and products, future product development, and where our other company, DGM Systems, can test and deploy our Parking & Revenue Control Division products and systems.
Tell us about The Parking Zone. What was behind that brand?
The Parking Zone fulfilled a need for a one-stop location for parking operations supplies. We are dedicated in finding and producing the most reliable and essential parking products, and in providing great customer service.
I also wanted it to be a little quirky and fun. Over the years, our printed catalogs have had funky covers and our trade show booths have been a little flamboyant. We’ve introduced new products with mascots – who could forget “Gordo the Gorilla” for Gorilla Posts and “Pingo the Parking Penguin” for ParkingPenguin.Com. Now our newly remodeled e-commerce website has superheroes as the theme.
We are a dependable company that stands out from the crowd.
How many items do you carry in your catalog?
We have more than 1,700 individual products on our on-line catalog, ParkingZone.com, and we add new products and vendors frequently. We also encourage our customers to let us know if they can’t find a particular product and we’ll search it out for them.
Can you give us a brief history, chronology of PCC?
Pacific Cascade Corp. was founded 25 years ago to develop and manufacture parking honor pay boxes. We expanded the products that we offered to the parking industry and finally added The Parking Zone in 1996.
Our parking revenue and systems business grew to the point where we needed to spin it off into the subsidiary that became DGM Systems in 1994.
Our latest venture is into recycling and sustainability products. In partnership with the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers and AEG, we have successfully launched GreenDrop Recycling Stations. [They] are used in multiple arenas, with our most recent install at Staples Center in Los Angeles for the Lakers, Clippers and Kings.
What is the most unique item?
Our best-selling items and most unique are our patented Gorilla Post delineators, which utilize the strength of rare-earth magnets to create permanent, flexible or temporary pedestrian and traffic pattern controls.
The city of Portland, OR, was the first to use our removable posts in large quantities when it converted over to multi-space parking meters and still needed to reserve parking spaces but could no longer hood an individual meter.
The Gorilla Post has been extremely effective for that application.
How do you receive most orders –
phone, mail, Internet?
Most of our orders come to us via the Internet. Additionally, we have set up E-procurement portals and centralized purchasing programs for some of our larger customers. And we also have the ParkingZone.com website, which we believe has the most comprehensive array of parking products and supplies available on the web.
Article Abstract from February, 2013