Durango-based Freenotes Harmony Park will cease manufacturing its large outdoor instruments in town this year.
Playcore, a Tennessee-based company, bought Freenotes Harmony Park in 2016 and plans to manufacture the company’s instruments in Carrollton, Georgia, starting late in the first quarter of the year, said Anne-Marie Spencer, Playcore’s corporate vice president of marketing.
Freenotes makes large outdoor drums, chimes and xylophones and sells them within the U.S. and internationally.
“We added Freenotes Harmony Park to our family of brands because they make a unique product that promotes outdoor activity for people of all ages and abilities,” Spencer said in an email.
Moving the manufacturing and shipping operations to the Georgia facility will allow the company to take advantage of existing fabrication technology and state-of-the-art equipment, she said.
Freenotes employs 14 people; many of the employees at the Durango facility have the option to move, she said.
The company’s design and product development will remain in Durango.
Playcore also manufactures playground equipment, shade and shelters, and other outdoor equipment at the Georgia facility, Spencer said. It owns more than 20 other brands that make outdoor play equipment, fitness equipment, outdoor play surfaces and other products.
The sale of Freenotes to Playcore was expected to boost sales of instruments. It also allowed the three former owners of the company to retire.
One of the owners was company founder Richard Cooke, a musician who invented the instruments more than 20 years ago.
They were designed so they never sound dissonant.
“The musical instruments provide a wealth of benefits. They are easy to play, especially with a newly developed mallet that is usable by people with fine motor disabilities,” Spencer said.