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Landscapers Find Business In Hanging Christmas Lights

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- It's the time of year when retailers are making money while the rest of us are trying to watch what we spend.

But there is a business that continues to grow year after year.

In fact, most people don't even know that getting their homes decorated for Christmas is even an option.

JPS Designs is a landscaping company during the summer, but during the fall they turn into something else -- a company that you can hire to put up your Christmas lights, thousands at a time.

And this type of business has never been brighter.

"You walk up to it and you just feel it. It feels good. The lights look terrific," said Terrence Large, owner of Intelligent Nutrients.

It's almost impossible to miss Large's store on Hennepin Avenue; and in front of it, you won't find a tree or shrub that hasn't been lit up.

"We are kind of a destination, so we just felt the lights just added more to our presence," Large said.

The man behind the design is Jeremy Schultz, the owner of JPS Designs. Schultz has been putting up lights for almost 20 years, and it has grown to nearly a quarter of his total landscaping business. In fact, every fall, despite a tough economy, Schultz adds a few clients, and now he's doing more than 70 homes a each autumn.

The lighting has even gone green. JPS uses LED's to save energy. They buy the lights for you, put them up, then take them down and store them at your place until next year.

But it can be expensive. The low-end is $500; the high-end can be as much as $6,000. JPS charges by the number of feet on the house and the number of strands on a tree. Still, Schultz thinks it's worth it.

"It looks more professional. No one is falling off the ladder. The wife isn't after the husband to get up, get on a ladder and get those lights up because he doesn't want to. We'll do it, that's fine," Schultz said.

He has four to six guys working for him on a single project, and they take the lights down after Jan. 1.

Schultz thinks there are probably close to a dozen businesses in the Twin Cities who have gotten into or are getting into this line of work.

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