Metro Outdoor Replaces Fire Damaged Watchfire Digital Billboard

Less than a year after an August 2010 warehouse fire in Yakima, Wash. burned so hot that it damaged the back of a digital billboard belonging to Metro Outdoor, the outdoor advertising company has replaced the billboard with Yakima's only full-motion digital billboard.

The new Watchfire 19mm 10'x30' billboard is located at the corner of S. 1st Street and E. Nob Hill. The damaged board, which was also manufactured by Watchfire, will be restored and installed on the corner of W. Valley Mall Blvd. and Longfibre RD., near the new Costco in Yakima.

Both locations are among the busiest intersections in the Yakima Valley, with a traffic count of 40,000-50,000 vehicles daily.

Metro Outdoor decided to put digital billboards in these locations because of the revenue potential. "Our digital billboards are 90 percent leased at any time and our newest digital billboard is 50 percent pre-leased," said Stephen Grover, partner with Metro Outdoor. "Digital billboards deliver 10 times the revenue of our static boards, and they allow us to deliver faster time to market for our customers."

Advertisers are all local companies that include medical clinics, a beverage company, auto dealerships and entertainment venues. Metro Outdoor has multiyear leases for two-thirds of the available advertising slots and holds back two spots on each board for short-terms ads.

Metro Outdoor selected Watchfire because of the quality of their boards. "We did a lot of research into digital billboard manufacturers and even visited their manufacturing plant. We've never had a single problem with our Watchfire board, and I'd fully recommend it," said Grover.

According to Grover, there are two keys to success for digital billboards: location and manufacturer. "The Yakima Valley market isn't a large market, like Seattle, but in the right location and with the right manufacturer, digital billboards can be very profitable."

With its True-16mm, True-19mm and new E-16mm, Watchfire has an entire line of digital billboard products to suit almost any need. All Watchfire Digital Outdoor billboards produce 1.15 quintillion colors and utilize state-of-the-art whole-sign color calibration. Watchfire is the only manufacturer that fully encapsulates its LED module in a thick bed of silicone gel, enabling the modules to operate reliably even in the harshest conditions. Durability is further enhanced by Watchfire's streamlined engineering, which focuses on driving down the number of parts and connections, improving projected reliability. All Watchfire boards feature lightweight extruded aluminum cabinetry that complies with IBC 2006 standards and allows for low-cost, fast installation and streamlined maintenance. Watchfire's warranty, lead times, customer support, and software are considered to be the best in the industry.

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