San Luis Valley Health and Wellness

Humans are meant to move. Physical activity and good diets keep our bodies working as finely tuned machines. Not doing so, has unhealthy conseqences. Modern society has allowed for increasing inactivity in most people. Health and wellness clubs in communities play a vital role in helping their members remain motivated to pursue personal fitness goals that fit their lifestyle and share ideas on workouts, diets, and overall healthy living.

Imagine being Justin and Brittany growing up in New Mexico, playing in the outdoors there and becoming committed to healthy living. They also had a dream of moving north to Colorado when they could find the right opportunity to own an athletic club. Reality came to pass when they purchased San Luis Valley Health and Wellness in 2015, an existing club, but in need of many repairs, from a leaky roof to fixing the swimming pool, to updating 30 year old equipment.

Their vision also included bringing in new high tech bikes and treadmills to allow members to ‘go places’ where they have not ridden or run before via virtual reality screens in front of them. Ultimately the upgrades would help members create good gym habits while maintaining a regular routine in a busy world. Success in owning a gym would also require a need to change business practices to meet the needs of existing and new members.

The San Luis Valley SBDC helped them in several ways even before purchasing the club. The SBDC, according to Justin, “helped give us a feel for the business environment in Alamosa. We wanted to know how well we would be supported by other business members in the community and also get a better feel for the demographics here. After purchasing the club, they helped us find the right contacts for all the information we needed whether locally, or around the state to set up our gym properly with business licenses and Federal ID number.”

One critical thing they helped us do was to get a social media intern from Adams State which worked out well for setting up our Twitter Page and Facebook. Our cost was minimal for our return.”

Espinoza Cultural Services

A small business based in La Jara is proving that a San Luis Valley company can ‘play with the big boys’. Dee Espinoza founded Espinoza Cultural Services, LLC (ECS) in 2010. Espinoza ran the company by herself out of her La Jara home for the first 2 years. She now employs 13 full time professionals (although some are seasonal) and 3 part time. ECS recently purchased and renovated a vacant historic building in downtown La

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The 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

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Express Employment Professionals

For Nina Anderson, helping people has always been a passion. Nina is the owner of Express Employment Professionals in Grand Junction, CO. Express offers a wide range of services for job seekers and employers and is a national chain. The job seekers can have their job skills evaluated so they know what skills they need training in and then can be matched with an employer that meets the job seeker’s skill set and career preference.

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Southern Ute Cultural Museum

Lynn Brittner, Executive Director, started planning the Southern-Ute Cultural Center and Museum over ten years ago. The Center’s opening this past May was her reward for years of dedicatedly holding the vision. Brittner’s relationship with the Southwest Colorado Small Business Development Center started way back at the beginning. She needed help and only had three staff. A grant from the Administration for Native Americans provided funds for her to take Board members to visit other

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Snooze

On any given morning, Snooze’s retro, 50’s-style space is jam-packed with people clamoring to get their names on a lengthy wait list. The draw? A stack of sweet potato or cinnamon roll pancakes, or what some have dubbed “the best breakfast burrito in the world.” A touch of upscale flair makes Snooze owner Jon Schlegel’s fare stand out among fellow bringers of breakfast and lunch. Offerings include “Vanilla Almond Oatmeal Brulée” or “Pork’s Benediction,” a

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Ku Cha House of Tea

Originally from China, husband and wife entrepreneurial team, Qin Liu and Rong Pan graduated from the Leeds School of Business at Colorado University with the dream of starting their own company. The original business idea was from Qin’s Business Plan Preparation class while enrolled in CU. In 2005, they launched their business, drawing upon the 5000-year-old tradition of drinking tea. In 2007, Qin and Rong changed the company’s original name from “The Leaf – All

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