While attending college and juggling the supervision of multiple restaurants, Ray and Monica Harrigill both realized they had a passion for the hospitality industry and a desire to serve others. After Ray completed law school, an opportunity presented itself, and in 1996, Ray and Monica purchased their first restaurant, a Bumpers Drive-In located on Terry Road in Jackson, Mississippi. The Sunray Companies was officially born. The Terry Road location was soon followed with a second drive-in in Pearl, Mississippi. Ray and Monica sought out team members with their same passion for people. By exceeding guest expectations without sacrificing quality, The Sunray Companies saw their revenue build in both restaurants.
Another opportunity opened up to join the Blockbuster Video franchise. In the era of video rental, business was booming, and Blockbuster expanded rapidly including Sunray’s opening of locations throughout the Jackson Metro. Over the next few years with the rise of Netflix’s mail-in rental competition and failure of the Blockbuster corporate brand to evolve, we learned quickly the need for diversification.
In a desire to diversify, Ray and Monica sought out concepts that matched our values and offered opportunities to expand. In 2004, The Sunray Companies opened our first Palm Beach Tan location in Ridgeland, MS. Five more locations were opened with much success. We also expanded our portfolio into hotels choosing to own and operate with the same relentless focus on the guest experience. Massage Envy soon followed with the opening of our first clinic in Flowood, Mississippi in 2010. The brand’s membership model, commitment to overall wellness, and spotlight on excellent guest relations were a perfect fit for The Sunray Companies. We expanded with 13 more clinics including our last opening in late 2015 in Bossier City, Louisiana.
Over the past 20 years, The Sunray Companies has grown to over 30 properties in Mississippi and Louisiana employing over 700 team members. We operate best-in-class brands including Palm Beach Tan, Massage Envy, Hampton Inn & Suites and Holiday Inn Express & Suites. We continue to grow with the recent purchase of five tanning salons for Palm Beach Tan rebranding in addition to our partnership on a new hotel development project in Oregon. All along the way, we ask ourselves one question when it comes to new development opportunities: Does this Enhance Lives of our teams, our guests, our company and the community? It’s our check to ensure that these growth opportunities stay aligned with our core value.