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Dan's Fan City Retail Outlets for Gulf-Coast and TroposAir Ceiling Fans

Dan's Fan City Story - The Story that Lead a New Ceiling Fan Brand

Dan's Fan City opened their first ceiling fans retail specialty store in 1979, on US19 in Clearwater Beach, Florida. The store was the vision of Dan Hibbeln Sr., along with his partner Georgia Wood. He realized the growing interest in ceiling fans earlier than most, and the way they were helping to combat the growing energy crisis at that time.

Dan, once a car salesman from the state of Michigan, was an avid fisherman and loved going to Florida to satisfy his hobby and passion of deep sea fishing. He thought it to be a good idea to open a ceiling fan store to make a living and also get to enjoy life out on the water. At the time, little did he know how popular his ceiling fan store would become.

The first store opened the day after Thanksgiving, on November 22, 1979. By March of 1980, the second Dan's Fan City store opened in Seminole, Florida and the company grew from there. It wasn't long before stores were located all around Florida and began to spread northward along the Eastern United States. By 1981, the store location in Greensboro, North Carolina had opened, which was the 35th Dan's Fan City store to open. Eventually there were store locations in Virginia, Maryland, and Dan opened five locations in his home state of Michigan.

It is worth noting that, with the rapid growth, eventually Mr. Hibbeln started offering the store locations outside of the state of Florida for sale as franchise locations. The concept of each store stayed the same, and special training was done to ensure that each and every new owner became an expert in ceiling fans before they were allowed to buy into the franchise. This ensured the best quality customer service, which was far superior than what shoppers had been accustomed to receiving at the local lighting showrooms and home improvement centers.

Most of the stores are still in operation today. However, in some cities where there were 3 or 4 stores per city, franchise owners found it more profitable to consolidate their multiple locations into one storefront. There were no other stores that could offer what Dan's Fan City stores offered, with expert advice, and employees only trained to help their customers in choosing the right ceiling fans for their needs. Therefore, it didn't always make sense to have so many stores in one area, and it made better business sense to have one centralized store location, that could offer a better selection on display and in in-stock inventory, than that which could be found in multiple smaller locations around the one metropolitan area.

Brand Names Offered

In the beginning, Dan's Fan City offered many brand name ceiling fans. Brands included Hunter, Casablanca, Emerson, Fasco, Encon, Gulf Coast Fans, Union Fan Company, and Fanimation. Most of these brand names are still on the market today.

Dan Sr. built a very strong relationship with Gulf Coast Fans, which was established in 1973. The company was located in Safety Harbor, Florida, right near Dan's Fans first location in Clearwater. Gulf Coast was one of the first companies to supply fans in the Untied States that had parts from Taiwan, but assembled and packed in the United States. The strong bond eventually lead Dan to purchase Gulf-Coast Ceiling Fan Company so that he could follow another vision he had for the ceiling fan industry.

The vision: To give customers a new experience that allowed their ceiling fan shopping experience to be custom tailored to walk away with a fan perfect for their individual tastes. This customization meant that the customer could choose the motor style they liked, pick the finish of blades, and then choose whether or not they wanted to add a light to their ceiling fan, and if so, choose the perfect light that would further help the ceiling fan to match their interior d├ęcor.

Since then, Dan's Fan City and their fan company, Gulf Coast, has expanded vastly in customized ceiling fans. Today, not only do shoppers get to pick the finish of the fan blade, but they also get to choose from many different shapes and materials the blades are made of. They can choose whether they want a remote control, or do not want a remote control with their fans, and with the many combinations, styles range from rustic to modern, tropical and nautical to antique and Victorian. This customization is what separates Dan's Fan City stores and Gulf Coast Fans from every single big box retailer, such as Home Depot and Lowes. It also separates Dan's from every other lighting showroom across the country, unless that lighting showroom is fortunate enough to carry Gulf Coast Fan products (as we are).

Besides customizations, the purchase of Gulf-Coast allowed Dan to be in better position to make sure quality control was unparalleled. This gave way to fans utilizing larger high-performance motors, die cast rotors, sealed precision bearings, and the best finishing processes in the industry. This philosophy remains with Gulf Coast Fans today, and has propelled them to be one of the best, if not the very best brand of ceiling fan today for quality and performance.


With the Gulf Coast name brand's fame growing across the Eastern US, some of the big home improvement centers came knocking, wanting to be a reseller for the Gulf Coast brand, which was now an exclusive to the Dan's Fan City stores. Home Depot is the only big box home center that has worked their way into the door with this exclusive brand, sort of.

The problem with Home Depot, and similar merchants, is having the properly trained staff to help the customer completely customize ceiling fans from start to finish, and then put together all of the right parts in a box so everything fits together to make the complete fan. It is a lot more than just picking a blade style and color, then throwing them in a motor box. The sales person has to know which hole patterns of blades fit which fans, they have to know which sizes can go on which motors (based on the motor's performance capabilities) they have to know whether or not the blade design will work with the motor housing without scraping and causing functionality issues. Plus, the company was afraid having the product in a discount type home center could possibly cheapen the name, and that was not something they wanted to happen.

By this time the company had been passed down to Dan Hibbeln, Jr., and he had a solution. Make another name label, and still offer the high quality, high performance fans offered by Gulf-Coast, but instead of allowing full customization, pre-package everything in one box. The name label was born, and its name is TroposAir.

The new name label also switched design ideas, to make more modern ceiling fans in style and energy efficiency. For instance, they designed a really large ceiling fan called the Titan, which is an outdoor ceiling fan that comes in various sizes. Both the 72" and 84" versions use special extruded aluminum blades that will never warp or deteriorate. They also designed a 66 inch version of the fan with contoured blades that makes it look uniquely different from the bigger versions of the Titan. Although, other major name brand fan companies, such as Minka Aire, are now coming along with some of the same technologies, TroposAir was one of the first innovative enough to equip a huge 84" ceiling fan with a 6-speed remote control, and a DC motor so efficient that it is listed on Energy Star's most efficient of 2017 list, in all three sizes!!! And on top of that, keep in mind they begin offering the Titan ceiling fan in 2013, and it is still on the list 4 years later.

Besides the Titan, TroposAir Ceiling Fans other models, with exception to a few, keep this same modern and energy efficient trend going. Models like the 44 inch LA, the 60 inch Vogue and Vogue Plus, the 59 inch St. Augustine, the 56 inch Ninja, the 60" Northstar, and the 56 inch Starfire, all of which use the special 6-speed energy efficient motors installed in them. These and many other models made by the company also offer LED lighting, which is another sure way to keep save as much on electricity cost as possible.

Where to Find these Fans, and Where to Find Dan's Fan City Stores

You can find Gulf-Coast Fans at a select few online stores, which includes us, and you can find the fans at all of the Dan's Fan City retail store locations, along with a few select lighting showrooms located throughout the United States. For a list of Dan's Fan City retail outlets click here.

TroposAir ceiling fans can be found on our website, Dan's Fan City's official website, and a few select others, included Home Depot's website. You can also find them at any Dan's Fans retail store.

Where is the Best Place to Purchase These Great Ceiling Fans

Of course we are going to say, "FROM US!" but that's for you to decide. A couple advantages you will get from us, that most of the other places cannot offer, are that you will almost always get Free Shipping, and No Sales Tax. The only time we will have to add sales tax is if you are having the fans shipped within North Carolina. Other than that, we will not charge you tax. Shipping time varies dependent upon where you are having them shipped to, but we can tell you that they will usually ship within 1 business day, and travel time to most areas in the United States will be between 1 and 3 days. The West Coast is the exception, and travel times may be 4 to 5 days with standard FedEx Home Delivery.