Passport Video changes hands (8/6/09)

Aug. 6, 2009

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

A longtime employee of Passport Video in Taft Corners recently gained ownership of the film rental store. Rick Ransom became proprietor of the store last month after buying out former owner Mike Bergin.

Ransom, a familiar face at Passport Video, said the store continues to do strong business thanks to its loyal and local customers. With the changing face of the video rental business, Ransom said it’s important to maintain a locally owned and operated movie store.

“This store is still viable,” Ransom said.

Passport Video has been a fixture in Williston since 1989, when Bergin opened the store. He also produced video transfers and videography projects at the location — a part of the business that has become more and more popular, Ransom said.

Ransom said Bergin decided to focus solely on videography and move away from operating the store. An employee since 1992, Ransom said he knows Passport Video’s inner workings and is looking forward to continuing its longevity.

In recent years, local video stores have had to compete with rental Web sites, such as Netflix, but Ransom said Passport can hold its own. Last year, the store downsized by moving across the parking lot at Cornerstone Drive to a new space, formerly occupied by Gadue’s Dry Cleaning. At the time, Passport Video sold off its VHS collection to focus strictly on DVD rentals.

“It’s a smaller location, but we’re basically serving the local community,” Ransom said.