Alpine Medical

Tabitha Zappone loves the conveniences in Pagosa Springs and considers it a “big city with coffee shops and restaurants.” Before moving to Pagosa, she and her husband both worked in a hospital in rural Alaska, in the town of Bethel. He is an Emergency Room nurse and she is a Nurse Practitioner. The two served people from 57 villages. “They would come in on dogsleds, four wheelers or small airplanes. In the winter it would get to 60 degrees below zero and would be absolutely dangerous to go outside.”

They went to Alaska because the salaries there would help them pay off her husband’s nursing school loans quickly. But they couldn’t wait to get back to Colorado. “These winters are nothing compared to up there,” she says. Tabitha attended the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs and then lived in Durango before heading to Bethel.

They returned to Pagosa because they really like the community and her parents are there. Tabitha had worked for a small practice in Pagosa, then a clinic in Alamosa. She decided to open her own practice to “get back home and to offer additional services.” She enjoys offering specialty aesthetics and cosmetic services that provide instant gratification to her clients.

She explains, “I know medicine, but don’t know how to run a business. I’ve always worked for other Clinics and for the Pagosa Medical Center.” She was referred to the SBDC and worked with advisor Rich Lindblad, who also lives in Pagosa. They met and Tabitha shared her vision for the clinic she’d like to open. When he said, “Sure we can make that happen!” she was so relieved.

He gave her homework which was to put her ideas into a business plan using the Business Model Canvas template. After several meetings, the plan was complete and ready to present to the bank for a small business loan. “Thanks to Rich, the plan was very thorough, the process went smoothly and I got approved for the SBA loan from First Southwest Bank.” She also got a loan from the Pagosa Springs Community Development Corporation.

“I was so nervous and unsure if I could really create a successful business. Having Rich there for support and guidance made all the difference in the world. It might not have happened without him.”

She has been very fortunate in this educational journey. After the first location fell through, her mother suggested another location. The space had to built- out to suit her needs – an expense she thought she couldn’t afford. When she met with the owner they both realized that he had been a former patient. He offered to customize the space for her at his own expense explaining, “We miss you and we want you back here.”

Alpine Medical and Specialties officially opened their doors on March 14, 2016. She is thrilled that former clients remember her and are happy she’s back.
“Earning the trust of my patients and building a good rapport is really important to me. They become like my family.”

Her on-going relationship and the mentorship of Rich Lindblad also created a deep friendship that she values. “It’s an emotionally raw experience going out on your own and with a new baby. Having Rich to walk me through the process with reassurance was invaluable.”

Tabitha chose this photo because, “When I am not working I am outside, hiking, biking, horseback riding, skiing, you name it.”

Pagosa Secure Storage

“Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.” Tim Sullivan stated that when he summarized he and his wife’s (Lorri) journey towards owning Pagosa Secure Storage. Tim had been involved in several endeavors to build or buy his own storage facility for the past ten years. Due to circumstances involving financing, zoning, limitations to expand an existing property or it being too expensive, the right deal never presented itself. Tim did

Read More »
Smitty’s Liquors

When Barb Higgins, her son Shiloh and his business partner Doug Jorgensen wanted to buy Smitty’s Liquors in Cortez, the first thing she did was call Joe Keck, who she had known for years. She knew the owners of Smitty’s and they were ready to retire. Her son and his partner had run a successful skateboard and clothing store in Las Vegas, but wanted to come back to Colorado. Higgins and her husband decided to

Read More »
The Repair Doctor

Fabian Rajo is good at fixing electronics. From transistor radios to computers, he knows his stuff. Last year, while working for a local computer company, he got an idea: he wanted to open a small electronics repair business in Cortez. He realized that many people need their gadgets repaired . . . from cell phones to tablets to apple watches to game consoles . . . and he knew that he had the skills to do it. But, he didn’t have

Read More »
Rivendell Education Center

Arawyn Madu taught toddlers for nine years before deciding to open her own center. Three of those were at the Campbell Center at Fort Lewis College. She attended night school for seven years to accumulate the credits required to become a Director of an Early Childhood Education Center in the State of Colorado. When she had the state requirements satisfied, she took the Leading Edge for Entrepreneurs Class, “to learn the business side,” she explains.

Read More »
Durango Diner: Taking on a New Type of Adventure

Last year, while quarantined in his basement, Greg Mauger had an epiphany. He was bored stiff, and he realized that he would rather work himself to death than be that bored. So, after more than a decade of working off and on at the Durango Diner, he decided to buy it. He began looking for funding and quickly realized that his adventurous lifestyle didn’t lend itself to easy loan approval from banks. He looked for

Read More »
Covenant Drug Testing

Sheila Owens and her son Brandon were handed the unique opportunity of taking over an existing business – kind of. They both worked for a drug & alcohol testing company in Cortez – Sheila for eight years and her son for seven. They enjoyed their jobs and the relationships they had with clients all over the country. BUT… the company they worked for was closing their doors with only two months’ notice to the employees.

Read More »
Skip to content