Manufacturer's equipment being auctioned

Grinders, boring mills, welders and vehicles including a 45-ton truck crane will be auctioned off this morning, marking the liquidation of the last assets of Yantrak, the former "people mover" manufacturer based in Carson City.

The company, which built the 2,500-foot monorail linking the Mirage and Bellagio casinos in Las Vegas, stopped doing business at the end of 1999, said Zyg Kunczynski, the company's last chief executive officer, who has since been in charge of cleaning up and selling or leasing Yantrak's assets.

"This is basically an auction of our surplus items, stuff that was used by Yantrak but isn't needed anymore," said Kunczynski, who has lived in Carson City for six years.

"We've already scrapped out 250 tons of steel from the test track we used for the Vegas project."

Yantrak was founded by his father, Jan Kunczynski, who lives at Glenbrook and has continued to develop other products.

He said Yantrak shut down because of the changing people-mover market. The number of manufacturers has shrunk to four as competing firms bought each other out, he said.

Another factor was that Yantrak only got to build one of four casino monorail projects it had been promised, Kunczynski said.

"Steve Wynn had us bid the projects as if we were going to do four - two in Vegas, one in Atlantic City, N.J., and one in Mississippi," he said. "Instead of $60 million in sales, we only got $9.5 million."

The monorail Yantrak did complete, linking the Mirage and Bellagio, went into service in October 1998 and Yantrak maintained and operated it the first year, he said.

Wynn has since sold those casinos.

The nine-acre former Yantrak plant at 2400 Arrowhead Drive is now home to Matrix, an employee-owned steel fabricator mostly made up of former Yantrak employees, he said. The company fabricates construction components such as beams for the new St. Theresa's Catholic Church, schools and a post office, he said. Matrix has 22 employees.

The manufacturing site is still owned by the Kunczynski family, through their company J&L Leasing LLP.

"Now that we're moving out this surplus equipment, we're making it into an industrial park and looking for more tenants along with Matrix," Kunczynski said. "We've got room for a complete engineering business, as well as lots of shop space."

The Kunczynskis' newest venture is Sisyan, which makes solar-powered systems to supply electricity and desalinate and purify sea water. The main customers are people with beach-front vacation homes in Baja California.

""You've got this beautiful beach property but no utilities are there. Our systems generate electricity with solar cells, with some of the power used to purify water and the rest to run the home," Kunczynski said.

He said the company has plants in Carson city and La Paz, Mexico.

Yantrak Auction

2400 Arrowhead Drive

Inspections 9-11 a.m.

Auction 11 a.m.

auctioneer A.C. Ashman co.

(925) 256-8111

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