The former Laser Quest building in Montrose will soon house bright lights of a different kind.
Phantom Fireworks converts the building at 80 Brookmont Road in Copley into a 7,500 square foot showroom, the largest space a pyrotechnics store can occupy under Ohio law.
The Youngstown-based fireworks company, which lists 12 other Ohio showrooms on its website, plans to open in Montrose in mid-May.
“We are pleased to have this opportunity here at Montrose,” said Bruce J. Zoldan, president and CEO of the company. “The community has been wonderful to us, and we look forward to becoming an active member of the Montrose family.”
Laser Quest closed permanently in September 2020.
“While we wanted to reopen all of our North American locations, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic climate has made the continued operation of many locations nearly impossible,” the company said in a September Facebook post.
Growth space for retailers
Phantom Fireworks Vice President Bill Weimer said changes to state law last year allowed fireworks retailers to add an additional 2,500 square feet to the 5,000 cap. square feet that was in place – provided additional precautions, such as upgraded sprinkler systems, are implemented.
Township Administrator Janice Marshall said Copley will ensure the site meets all state and local building and fire codes.
“By all accounts, Phantom Fireworks has a reputation as a reputable retail fireworks store operator,” Marshall said. She added that noise shouldn’t be a problem as the store is not allowed to perform live demonstrations of its products on the site.
Instead, Weimer said, the store’s display screens and tablets will allow customers to see the fireworks “in action” before purchasing them.
Weimer said the store will also emphasize the safe handling and display of its products and will sell protective gear such as safety glasses. Customers will also receive brochures providing safety tips.
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Revisions to fireworks rules expand opportunities for consumers
Ohio relaxed rules about setting off fireworks on private property last year in the same legislation that allows fireworks companies to expand their showrooms.
Consumer-grade fireworks can now be set off on private property at the owner’s discretion on certain days, except in communities where such displays are explicitly prohibited.
These days, according to the Ohio Department of Commerce, include:
- New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
- Chinese New Year.
- Cinco de Mayo.
- Memorial Day weekend.
- June 19.
- July 3, 4 and 5 and the preceding and following Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
- Labor Day weekend.
Booming competition among firework retailers
The Phantom Fireworks showroom won’t be the only option for area residents looking to purchase fireworks, sparklers and the like.
Fireworks Planet, owned by Bath residents Jason Modlik and Scott Allison, is set to open at the former property of the Rinky Dink Family Fun Center in Sharon Township. This store also bills itself as the “largest” fireworks showroom in Ohio.
Rinky Dink, at 2390 Medina Road, announced its permanent closure earlier this year.
Journalist April Helms can be reached at [email protected]