New ownership to pursue wider markets for Jet Lites
Reno’s Jet Lites built its name over the last quarter century as a maker of top-end lights used by mountain bikers and endurance riders who race at night.
Now the company’s new owners think they can extend that brand into new markets that range from endurance runners to law-enforcement agencies.
Jet Lites LLC was acquired by Mike Henderson and Jim Scripps of Reno, who purchased the company from David Joseph and Laning Andrews, who had operated it since 2008. Terms weren’t disclosed.
The small company — it brings on two contract workers to assist its owners with peak-season demand — relies on a worldwide network of outsourced manufacturers. Among the suppliers is Triad Technologies Inc. of Reno.
“We want to source as much as we can state-side,” Scripps said.
Products include lightweight and high-power lighting systems, along with batteries and hardware to mount the lights on a bicycle helmet or handlebars.
Jet Lites, which sells through a dealer network and directly to consumers through its Web site, will remain headquartered in Reno, its home since 2008, Scripps said.
Both Henderson and Scripps have participated in night mountain bike racing, both have operated small businesses, and both have worked in marketing of tourism and recreation.
“Being able to pick up and carry the torch — and keep the company in our backyard — is a great honor,” Henderson said.
Scripps, meanwhile, said the company will continue to develop new products for its core market of mountain bikers as it also looks to extend the brand into new markets.
Jet Lites was launched in 1997 by Jim Taylor, an entrepreneur in Santa Cruz, Calif., who foresaw the development of a market in lighting for the growing segment of mountain bicycling. He later moved the company to Truckee.
Taylor died in a skiing accident in 2008, and Joseph and Andrews took over operation of Jet Lites. They moved its headquarters to Reno.
The agreements are designed to split the costs of improvements such as traffic signals between Carson City and developers whose projects generate the traffic increases that trigger the need for improvements.