In 1939, the U.S. was emerging from the Depression and some 65,000 people called the small desert city of Phoenix home. At the time, the region’s economy revolved around the copper, cotton, citrus and cattle industries. The city was also quickly gaining a national reputation as a sought-after destination and winter tourism began to flourish. And internationally, threats of war loomed to change history.
Amid this intriguing backdrop, a pair of brothers from Austria moved to Phoenix. Gust and Adam Goettl had a vision to establish a company that could make the intense desert heat a livable environment. The pair would establish Goettl Air Conditioning on Feb. 14, 1939 and revolutionize cooled air technology paving the way for a population boom in the emerging Southwest.
As demand grew for their product, the Goettl brothers would pioneer sheet metal manufacturing and hone the process to a science – at one point the brothers had more than 100 patents on their technology. Soon, however, World War II would change the world’s landscape and the brothers were quick to shift their manufacturing operations to support the war and the need for metal-related products.
In fact, Phoenix would begin to establish itself as a military industrial center with three air force fields – Luke, Williams and Falcon Field – training and supporting soldiers from around the U.S. These facilities would join the Desert Training Center created by General George S. Patton, which would bring thousands of military men and women to the desert to train and support war efforts.
The Phoenix Rise
While all of this was occurring, air conditioning made the environment livable. The prevalence of air conditioning in homes and offices, made the state attractive to businesses, tourist, retirees and those seeking refuge from bitter winters in the Midwest and along the East Coast. By the 1950s, the use of cooled air technology would spur a growth boom that continues today. By 1960, Phoenix grew more in a year than it did in from statehood in 1914 to the end of World War II.
Since this series of linked events, the Goettl name has been recognized for excellence in heating and air conditioning installation. A consumer-focused brand, the Goettl name and reputation continued to grow. The term “Goettl” was soon used to epitomize strength, power and longevity as a source of hospitality in the searing and relentless desert heat.
The Goettl brothers would also pioneer marketing of their product. Since most didn’t understand how the technology could work to cool their homes, the brothers would strap air conditioning units on trucks and drive around town blasting cool air on the porches of residents, tempting them with the refreshing, breezy air. Once the wondrous cool air reached the faces of families trying to survive the desert heat, it was a done deal and Goettl would soon be a household name.
“We are truly honored to carry on the well-known legacy of the Goettl brand,” said Ken Goodrich, CEO and owner of Goettl Air Conditioning. “The Goettl brothers invented the industry and created an innovative and well-respected brand. Today, the ‘Goettl workhorse’ is well-known and continues to be cited in awe by industry peers.”
The Iron-Horse Inspires
Goodrich, whose father, J. Duncan Goodrich, was an HVAC expert himself, would join his dad on jobs as a child where he would hold a flashlight to help complete jobs in Las Vegas during hot, dark nights. The experience would lead Goodrich to use the image of his own son, Duncan, in his marketing holding a flashlight illuminating the right way to complete HVAC jobs. It was during these jobs that the younger Goodrich would begin to admire the Goettl brand for its “iron-horse” longevity and integrity in the industry.
Later, when Ken Goodrich established his own HVAC company, Goettl was the only brand willing to extend him credit to nurture his business. Goodrich would continue to build his HVAC businesses, but he would never forget the Goettl brand.
By 2013, the economic recession and a hyper-competitive industry, had taken its toll on Goettl in Arizona. Ownership changes threatened to kill the Goettl brand.
Enter Goodrich, an air conditioning industry executive who has bought and sold several HVAC companies around the U.S. In 2013, he took control of Goettl and immediately installed new management and systems to manage the company. Soon, Goettl Air Conditioning went from hemorrhaging millions of dollars a year to being a profitable, industry pioneer yet again. Soon, Goodrich would start expanding Goettl Air Conditioning throughout the Southwest while resurrecting the brand and ideals that shaped the company.
Class Is In: Goettl University
Later this year, the Goettl name will be elevated to new heights when Goodrich opens a new Las Vegas headquarters, which will include “Goettl University.”
Besides housing 200 employees of Goettl Air Conditioning, the 53,000-square-foot Las Vegas facility will also have the region’s largest state-of-the-art training center: Goettl University. The facility will include a 100-seat customer service center and mock HVAC systems built into the complex for realistic hands-on training and learning.
“This facility and Goettl University will fulfill a life-long dream of mine where HVAC technicians throughout the U.S. will be trained the Goettl way,” said Goodrich, who will continue to transform the industry and maintain the commitment to quality and doing the right thing for consumers. “Our technicians will receive ongoing real-life training and will be taught to be perfectionists – just like my father trained me. Every customer experience, every screw and bolt we install and every detail in the process will be best in class. Perfection will be our guide.”
Goodrich expanded Goettl Air Conditioning to his hometown of Las Vegas in April 2016. Since 2015 alone, Goettl has experienced 500 percent year-over-year growth and continues to grow. Today, Goettl Air Conditioning operates in Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas and Southern California. Goodrich plans on continuing to expand nationally. “Our plan is simple: grow the Goettl Air Conditioning brand and continue the iconic legacy and founding principals that made the company the most trusted and leader in the industry.”