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Shooting for the Stars

Think the sky's the limit? Not when fireworks are involved.

This story appears in the June 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

As a young boy, Ken Lantis dreamed of going into space, until NASA cutbacks made him rethink the possibility. So he reached for the stars the only way he knew how-through fireworks. He learned about the colorful, explosive world of the fireworks industry at the age of 5 by helping his father clean up their family-run fireworks stand. Now, 54 years later, he has taken over his father's business and holds the title of vice president of Lantis Fireworks & Lasers, a fireworks/laser business that puts on displays for events ranging from concerts to funerals.

The company has warehouses in Denver; Phoenix; Reno, Nevada; and Salt Lake City and has done shows in nearly every state and in approximately 20 countries. However, with the tendency to dream big, Lantis is taking his father's small business to new heights and is hoping to have franchisees in 40 states within the next five years.

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