Rock Lounge

Marcus Garcia has been the owner of the Rock Lounge (RL), an indoor climbing gym in Durango, since 2014. Marcus had transitioned from being a RL employee, a rock climbing guide, and owner of a small construction company before then. The RL was profitable in his first year, yet he thought there was more potential to be realized.

Marcus had sent his business manager to a locally sponsored event which introduced them to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Fort Lewis College. SBDC is a free resource for entrepreneurs wanting to start, grow or sustain their business. Marcus contacted SBDC and was put in touch with Carl Malmberg, an advisor whose specialty is business operations. Carl instructed Marcus to create a profit/loss system to find where the RL made and lost money. In addition, Carl provided insight and structure on financial costs and overhead projections. Marcus saw positive gains over the course of that first year into the next two years. “Carl helped me understand how the business worked and what made this business unique.”

In March 2017, the property owners sold the building where the RL was located and they had to be out by the end of April. Marcus contacted Region 9 (a non-profit that promotes economic development in southwest Colorado) for a small business loan, but was rejected. This left him unsure of how to proceed. He reached out to Carl for guidance. Carl contacted Region 9 on his behalf and learned Marcus would need to provide a sales forecast for the next three years to show future profit. Since the RL was profitable during Marcus’ three years as owner, Carl gave instruction on how to create a financial spreadsheet which would provide the details Region 9 wanted.

During this time, Marcus had friends who had offered him a building location to relocate the RL. The loan Marcus had applied for would be for interior reconstruction. As the building codes and requirements were being sorted out, Carl spoke directly with the loan officer to justify RL’s business model and explain their financial projections. Marcus said Carl’s involvement was an important reason the loan was secured in November 2017. Construction soon began with the help of Marcus’ friends and members of the community. The RL reopened in February 2018.

“I learned the importance on how to account for all expenses, including the small ones. From the cost of a computer servicing, paper towels, to knowing the exact point of sale that comes from the swipe of a card.” Due to the loss of time between closure to reopening, the RL is not yet where it was financially from early 2017. “We have been reaching out to the community to let them know our new location (111 East 30th St., Durango). I want the RL to be a climbing community center and a place where the youth of Durango can find who they are through climbing.”

Marcus will revisit SBDC at six months’ time from the reopening to review the financial information and stay on course with the projections. The RL currently has one full time and six part-time employees. His present focus is to raise $120,000 to expand by constructing a rope climbing area. “SBDC being free to the public was the biggest thing for me. They helped get me in the right direction and guided me along the way.”

SoulRide Psychotherapy

Some dreams are born in a moment, while others take time to grow. For Aaron Thomas, his journey to a career in psychotherapy and trauma healing has been the latter. “My vocational journey has always been body based, and I’ve always had a strong interest in the healing arts and human potential. Through the years, I’ve bumped into a number of career paths that led me to where I am today.” In 1995, he found

Read More »
Mountain Dough Bakery

Cupcakes…cookies…muffins…scones…is your mouth watering yet? Kim Solecki has always had a love for baking. It’s a passion she shared with her mother, and she’s always known she wanted to pursue it as a career. But, with a successful career in technology sales, she wasn’t sure how to fit it in. In 2011, she started attending classes at Johnson and Wales on the weekends. “I didn’t want my day job to know, so I snuck into

Read More »
DaLe Llama Bike Tours

Tony Martin’s business is to go downhill – fast!  His business, DaLe Llama Bike Tours (DLBT), is trending uphill, but their passion is to take people down hills and mountain sides.  DaLe is a play on words for a Spanish phrase meaning “let it rip,” and “go for it.”  Tony leads mountain bike tours to Ecuador for big descents as they ride downhill and single track.  DLBT’s purpose is to shred sick trails, stimulate local economy and share culture.

Read More »
Freenotes Harmony Park

By Malia Durbano Richard and Christy Cooke are so grateful to the SW Colorado Small Business Development Center for consulting with them and putting them in touch with valuable resources to assist them in growing and expanding their business. Thanks to the help of the SW CO SBDC their company is experiencing 100% growth in 2011. Originally, a small cottage industry business, started by Richard Cooke in 1990 in Moab, Utah, FHP was at capacity

Read More »
Desert Child

If you’ve ever thought about starting a professional band, you know that there are a number of obstacles that need to be overcome. But, did it ever occur to you that the band is a business? This is what ultimately led Ari Newman and his band, Desert Child, to the SBDC. Desert Child’s journey began in the Utah desert, when four of the five members met as guides with Open Sky Wilderness Therapy. All of

Read More »
Rx Grazing Services : Targeted Grazing

What would you do with 750 nanny goats? How about using them for fire mitigation, controlling woody encroachment, and treating oak brush and invasive species? For the past three years, Rx Grazing Services LLC has been moving their herd of goats across the Four Corners Region to do just that. The company has had projects from the La Sals in Utah to the San Juans in Southwest Colorado. Rx Grazing Services LLC requires a minimum

Read More »
Skip to content