Following Boston fireworks cancellation, Atlas Pyro shrugged

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney had planned an eight-minute, $25,000 fireworks display to be launched over Boston Harbor in the event that he won the race, and the contract for the show went to Jaffrey’s Atlas Pyrovision Productions. So when Romney conceded defeat on election night, Atlas saw another high-profile show get canceled this year. But it didn’t amount to a significant financial loss for the company, according to Atlas CEO Steve Pelkey.

When a show gets canceled, a whole new drill begins, Pelkey said. In the world of fireworks, it’s a lot less time to shoot them off than to remove them from firing positions on the barge, bring them back to headquarters, individually inspect each product and put them back in inventory, said Pelkey. “In these types of unique displays, whatever costs [are lost] in the actual pyrotechnics are then absorbed through having to spend an additional eight or nine hours unloading them and repackaging them,” he said.

Certain fireworks shows are difficult to exactly predict, Pelkey said, citing Patriots games as an example when the product may only be used after a win or after a touchdown. Atlas has prior experience with political campaigns, too. And earlier this year, no one could have predicted the Festival of Fireworks in Jaffrey, sponsored in part by Atlas, would be canceled after a bomb threat. But, as Pelkey said, “those things happen” in this business, and Atlas, which does a number of large fireworks shows throughout New England, has to roll with the punches.

Romney’s victory celebration was expected to total $10,000-11,000 in marine costs -- with an additional $12,000-14,000 going toward pyrotechnics -- but the refunded cost of the fireworks instead helped to pay for additional labor fees, Pelkey said.

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