Olympic TV set has real Duluth rootsIf U.S. hockey captain Jamie Langenbrunner visits NBC’s Winter Olympics set in the next two weeks, the Cloquet native won’t be the only Northland connection on your TV.
By: Andy Greder, Duluth News Tribune, Pine Journal
If U.S. hockey captain Jamie Langenbrunner visits NBC’s Winter Olympics set in the next two weeks, the Cloquet native won’t be the only Northland connection on your TV.
As journalists probe Olympic stars about their athletic prowess in Vancouver, a corduroy-looking wood from the Duluth Timber Co. will serve as the backdrop.
NBC wanted an inviting and environmentally-conscious set, and with a referral, its construction contractor sought a large amount of reclaimed wood from the Duluth Timber Co.’s Edison, Wash., yard.
“It’s a bonus for a company our size to be included,” said Brandin Sears, manager of the yard, which is about 90 miles south of Vancouver. “We’ve never done things on a small scale, although we are a small company.”
After being a part of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” last summer, the Duluth Timber Co. sold about 3,000 board feet of Sequoia or redwoods for the backdrop and Douglas fir to provide support to NBC’s set.
Jesse Joslin of Dreamer Productions, NBC’s contractor, came to Duluth Timber Co. for the Douglas fir, and Sears turned him on to the redwoods, which were reclaimed from large wine storage tanks at the Blossom Hill Winery in Hollister, Calif.
“It was a novelty,” Joslin said Friday from Vancouver. “The redwood had an interesting back story. … We knew that there would be an application to the back walls of the set. … We knew it was going to be an alternating pattern of vertical lines one deeper than the other, but we hadn’t thought of what they wanted to make it out of. We thought that if we could generate our own material out of a bunch of reclaimed lumber that seemed like an environmental way to go. Plus, the wood has such great character.”
The chance to showcase its wood to millions of TV viewers originated from a basic marketing tactic — word of mouth.
Joslin heard about the Duluth Timber Co. when his wife’s cousin built his home in Vancouver.
Word of mouth also has affected business about 1,600 miles to the east at its Duluth headquarters on Railroad Street.
Cheryl Fosdick, owner and principal designer of Duluth’s CF Design, has worked with Duluth Timber Co. on more than 20 residences. She said that the company’s stock and resources to get requested wood is a boon for her company.
“It’s just like having a really fine lumber yard in your backyard,” Fosdick said. “What better resource is that? … That is a whole lot easier than me having to look other places. … They are a good company.”