By Ethan Lichtenberg
In 1979, a man named Dan Hibbeln noticed the ever-growing want among people for ceiling fans. He had no idea how right he was about the need for fans. They began to pop-up in nearly every home to cool down spaces and combat the energy crisis. In the late 1970s, petroleum shortages made the need for energy greater than the energy that was being produced. This caused prices for oil and fuel to skyrocket, creating an economic disaster. The answer for many trying to save money was to buy a ceiling fan to cool their homes and lower costs. And so, along with his partner Georgia Wood, created the business that still rules the fan world today. The first store was opened in Clearwater, Florida, and was an immediate hit. So much so that within four months of the opening, a new location was opened in Seminole, Florida. Upon opening the second location, Dan Sr. said, “Well, here’s another fine mess we’ve gotten ourselves into.” Dan’s hunch that ceiling fans would become all the rage was spot on.
In the beginning, Dan’s Fan City was a place where you could find all the best ceiling fans from other producers such as Hunter, Casablanca, and Emerson. The store was more like the Home Depot “light and fan” section that we know today. You could find everything that you needed but be limited to the options they had in stock and couldn’t personalize one for yourself. But in 1983, Dan purchased Gulf Coast Fans located in Safety Harbor, Florida. This would help the company stand out compared to the section at the hardware superstore. With the purchase of Gulf Coast Fans, Dan’s Fan City was now producing their fans as well. This meant customers could come in and choose from their designs and change them to precisely what they want. The purchase also allowed Dan’s Fan City to control the quality of the ceiling fans they were selling. Often, fans (and all products for that matter) were made cheaply and did not last long. The idea of a boxed up fan that you saw a picture of on the outside of the packaging was giving way to a fan store in which you could change the details of the fan. From the blades to the lighting and style/finish. This was revolutionary and put Dan’s Fan City on the crash course to standing out amongst the monotony.
Dan Hibblen Sr. was from rural Michigan and led a beautiful life there, where he invested in many businesses that proved to be a success. His granddaughter Jesi Hibbeln, the current advertising assistant at Dan’s Fan City, told me that Dan Sr. always said, “I do not want to be in a business that is not fun.” Those words still ring true, and they were his main goal in life. A life worth living is a fun one. Dan was an avid deep-sea fisherman, something us Floridians can relate to. The ocean was calling his name, and so, he decided to move to Clearwater and began Dan’s Fan City, and partake in the best fishing the world has to offer. His kids Dan Jr. and Brenda Hibbeln were involved in the family business from the start and took over his role when Dan Sr. passed in 1999. Throughout the company’s time with Dan at the helm, his humor never wavered, and his family has continued that trend.
Two of the proudest years in the company’s long history were 1987, and 2015. In both years, Dan’s Fan City would outgrow all the office spaces they had and expand exponentially. In 1987, with the enormous demand for ceiling fans, the areas they had were quickly overcrowded with the product. The purchase of a warehouse in Oldsmar, Florida, was a tell-tale sign at how successful business was. The warehouse in Oldsmar is still home to the corporate office today. In the following 28 years, the business would grow even further. Due to the sheer amount of freight trucks coming in and out of the warehouse, they needed to improve the warehouse’s flow. With a vast remodel, their goal was achieved, and the company grew once again.
In the present day, Dan’s fan city is now made up of 39 stores throughout Florida and some up the East Coast of the United States. They have a full e-commerce site with all of the products through the website and sell online through Amazon and Home Depot. The fans that consumers purchase are accompanied by installers that are trusted by the company and available for fixes as well. Most of the fans come with a warranty anywhere from 5 years to a lifetime.
Before they replace fans, they troubleshoot the problem. If the fan is unable to be fixed and still under warranty, the fan is replaced. Along with quality products, Dan’s Fan City comes with a trusted team, and a fan that you know will keep your home as energy efficient as possible.
As for the future, the company has many goals. Jesi Hibbeln tells me that, “we want to keep improving the technology in our fans. This will involve getting our fans synced with Wi-Fi, and giving our customers the features of a smart ceiling fan.” The future is bright and keeping up with the technological advancements of the world. Jesi continued to say that, “we will be opening a store in Atlanta in the New Year, and are actively looking to open a new location in Viera/ Merritt Island area.” With the future of the company in good hands, you can be sure Dan Sr. is looking on proudly as the business he began 40 years ago continues to grow. Head over and see the kind and honest people at Dan’s Fan City and experience the best way to buy a quality fan.
November 5, 2019, by Ruth M. (FL, United States)
“Stunningly beautiful fan. Looks perfect in our great room and with the design of our home. Excellent service and fast shipping.”
October 30, 2019, by Jimmie F. (FL, United States)
“Great products and wonderful people to work with”
Dan’s Fan City is located at 13192 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33618. Contact them by calling 813-969-3095 or get more information by visiting: