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Updated: November 15, 2021

Famed Newport drumstick maker Vic Firth relocates across town

wood and person working on machine Courtesy / Vic Firth Co. The Vic Firth Co. factory in Newport, seen here in 2018, relocated from 77 High St. to 34 Progress Park in Newport Industrial Park, citing sales growth.

Vic Firth Co., a manufacturer of music drumsticks, mallets and percussion accessories that has been operating at 77 High St. in Newport since 1963, has relocated to 34 Progress Park in Newport Industrial Park.

The half-mile move came after the acquisition and multiyear refit of an existing building at the park, according to a spokesperson with Avendis Zildjian Co. of Norwell, Mass.

Zildjian, a leading cymbal manufacturer, acquired Vic Firth in 2010.

Zildjian listed 77 High St. for auction through Tranzon Auction Properties.

Started in a garage by its namesake founder, who was principal timpanist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the company now makes over 200 varieties of sticks and mallets. They range in length, taper, tip and material, according to its website, and hickory is used to make 90% of the sticks.

“With continued sales growth, it became apparent that the existing space was inefficient to satisfy future business needs,” the unidentified spokesperson told Mainebiz, in an email exchange facilitated by Tranzon.

“With a team of experienced and skilled labor in Newport the company went looking for space to refit in the community,” the spokesperson said, adding, “Zildjian is invested in Newport and the larger facility has allowed the business to expand and increase its workforce to meet the growing demand for its products.”

Zildjian went with an auction over a brokerage listing in order to pursue an expedited real estate sale, the spokesperson said.

Tranzon ran a nationwide marketing campaign for six weeks and saw interest from throughout the Northeast, said the auction house’s vice president of sales, Mike Carey.

The four-acre property has 933 feet of water frontage on Sebasticook Lake and seven primary buildings totaling 68,247 square feet in area.

Bidding was conducted online, opened Nov. 3 and ended Nov. 10. There were 14 bidders from throughout the United States, said Carey. The new owner and purchase price were not disclosed.

“Vic Firth is up and running with operations at their new facility in Prospect Park,” said Carey. “They are still utilizing some of the office space at the 77 High St. property, but expect to be fully out by end of year.”

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