Party Place owner Beverly Lively and her husband, David, are moving their store into the former Naumes Equipment space on South Pacific Highway, providing much needed room. - Jim Craven

Space for the Party Place

The party might be over for Naumes Equipment, but it's just heating up for the owners of Party Place.

Even as the Kubota tractor dealer is liquidating its inventory at 2201 S. Pacific Highway, a transition is under way.

Beverly and David Lively, who bought Party Place on Barnett Road in February 2008, have begun moving in party goods and hope to complete the relocation of their rental and retail store in April.

"We knew (the store) had outgrown that space when we purchased the business," Beverly Lively said.

"Our goal was to get everything into one location and have space for people to come in and look around. Right now, we have stuff tucked away and jammed together."

Party Place's goods and equipment have been spread among its 2,700-square-foot store, a 2,500-square-foot warehouse on Barnett Road and a 3,000-square-foot warehouse on Riverside.

The 10,000-square-foot Naumes site will give the firm nearly 25 percent more room under one roof.

"The way it's laid out, it gives us a lot more room," David Lively said. "There's a mezzanine over the front half of the building and one in the back which will really help. This will allow us more room for display, retail and storage of things. When Bev has brought in 1,000 new chairs, there's no place to store it."

As soon as David Lively heard Naumes was shutting down the tractor business, he introduced himself to Sam Naumes.

"I went over and personally knocked on the door," he said. "I don't know if that works well when you're negotiating for a lease, but Sam's been gracious, giving us some concessions and early possession."

When the new South Medford interchange work is completed, the new location won't be much farther off the freeway than it was on Barnett.

"We didn't want to go too far from the old location," Beverly Lively said. "We'll be at the same exit, just the other side and hopefully people will still find us."

The seasonal business picks up pace between May and September, reaching as many as 15 employees during peak times.

The company supplies events from Siskiyou County in Northern California to Canyonville in Douglas County. During 2008, retail sales grew 15 percent over 2007.

The Livelys, both 42, purchased the business from Alan Steed and Jo Wayles, who bought the enterprise from Don and Sally Simpson in 2004. The Simpsons retain ownership of the Barnett Road building.

Beverly is a radiation therapist by trade and David has a property management background.

"Most of the time we're working with one-shot things such as weddings, where it may take months and months of planning. We enjoy working with the caterers, event planners and florists," Beverly Lively said.

She said from the beginning she saw an opportunity to make items available that previously required people to go outside the area.

"If a bride wants chiavari chairs, rather than plastic folding chairs, we want to have that here," she said.

When the Paper Factory in the Shoppes at Exit 24 in Phoenix closed in January, the Livelys purchased its shelves and racking.

Even in a declining economy, the big events in life go on, observed David Lively.

"People are still getting married and people are still having parties," he said. "That will all be good."

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 776-4463 or e-mail

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