TATAMY, Pa. - Martin Guitar has had a presence in the Lehigh Valley for nearly 200 years, and they're expanding that legacy.

The company opened a new 200,000-square-foot warehouse in Tatamy, just about four miles from the company's headquarters in Upper Nazareth.

"Man oh man. Years. This has been in the works for years," said Chris Martin IV, the company's executive chairman.

"We really needed some consolidated space to operate effectively and efficiently," said Thomas Ripsam, the company's new president and CEO.

COVID has the company busier than ever, as folks are looking for new ways to enjoy being inside.

"The industry has always gone through cycles. Always up, down. But usually the up cycle is maybe 10-15%. We are in the neighborhood in 30% growth in a year, which is unheard of," Ripsam said.

It's hard to keep up with that growth without the raw materials and labor to get things done.

"We have containers that are stuck on the West Coast," Ripsam said.

Nathan Eckhart, the company's CFO, says the new space makes that challenge easier to overcome, with storage for finished guitars and raw wood.

The company produces about 150,000 guitars a year.

"We've made a significant investment in raw materials. We've brought in what we call a strategic inventory of rare woods that need to be properly stored," Eckhart said.

Meaning this warehouse has advanced climate control and 13.5 inches of wall insulation.

The company says it'll be adding solar panels to offset 100% of its electrical use, which Martin hopes put the other warehouses in this region on notice.

"The other new companies in this Valley can do better!" Martin said.

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