Catching Up with 2015 Criterium Winner, Julie Emmerman

Eliminating prize disparity between genders is still a relevant issue throughout sports, especially pro cycling. This year, the Ridge at 38 Criterium will be issuing equal purse prizes for both men and women, which is something not as common as you might expect. With that in mind, we wanted to check in and follow up with last years’ winner, Julie Emmerman, but first a short introduction.

Julie is equally as much an intellectual, as she is a thoroughbred athlete. A practicing psychologist by day, and fearless cyclist by weekend, she enjoys spending time with her family while taking advantage of Colorado’s beautiful outdoors. When asked about the purse differences, she said the cyclists feel the implications of the prize differential, “it’s definitely frustrating when you’re doing all the work, putting in all of the effort, and being trained just like the guys… It’s hard to keep racing when the purse money is significantly less.”

So tell me a little about yourself:
Where should I begin haha – I used to race mountain bikes professionally and then I “retired”. I already had my doctorate degree so I built up private psychotherapy practice. After a short while, I really missed being around athletes so then I decided to specialize in sport psychology. Soon thereafter, I was hired by Garmin- Slipstream (at the time that’s what they [cycling team] were called) to be the sport psychologist for their Pro Tour riders. Eventually, I just missed being in the mix of competition as well as the social camaraderie so in 2009 I decided to race again. I dabbled mostly in local road racing at first and kept developing, honing fitness and skills. I have come a pretty good ways- I am not getting any younger and recently competed in the USA Pro National Championships where I finished 9th in the Time Trial. It’s an Olympic year so everyone is on superb form, which makes it super exciting.

Do you have any hobbies or things you’re passionate about besides cycling?
I love trail running in the fall and winter. In general, I love hanging out and spending time with my family while enjoying Colorado sunshine whenever and however I can.

What brought you to the Criterium originally or how did you hear about it?
The Criterium is part of the BRAC [Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado] Series, so our team was trying to get points for the series overall. I knew that it would be important to win so that way we could accumulate more points. I also just like to go out and support local racing whenever I can. The woman’s fields tend to be kind of small, so I figure the more I can race, the better. It’s a great course and atmosphere.

How did it feel winning last year’s Criterium?
Haha, winning is always a good feeling! I enjoy the challenge of coordinating physicality with strategy. It was hard; I remember being exhausted afterwards!

Do you do any special training in advance for it or anything different than normal?
No, not really, because most of the races that we enter into professionally, the categories pro 1 and pro 2; there’s road races, criteriums, hill climbs, time trials, so we train pretty much all year round and for all of them. I am sure some people train specifically for crits, however.

That said, will you be returning this year to defend your title?
I hope so!

what would you tell others about the Criterium if they were interested?
It is a completely family friendly place. There’s that huge park in the middle where they always have food vendors and fun stuff set up for kids. It’s really invigorating and fun! The race itself is on a great course where people can spectate from a lot of different corners to see the action happening. It’s a relatively short loop so there’s not much down time between when the racers will come around again. The course also lends itself to break aways and attacks which means that some riders will try to separate from the main peloton. That usually makes for a very exciting race. I would sum up the event as lively, fun and inclusive.

Traditionally Criteriums don’t have equal purses and we’re trying to change that, do you have an opinions or thoughts on that?
It’s awesome that this year’s Criterium is offering equal prize money. Personally and on behalf of all women I want to say thank you. I’m all for trying to reduce that disparity. I understand the common local argument of, “Well there are so fewer female racers, why should they have equal prize money?” But at National events the women’s fields are 80+ strong. I don’t have a quick answer or an easy solution to offer but having equal prize money makes a strong positive statement. Hopefully, sponsors see the market value of putting their money behind women athletes and improve their strategies for reaching target audiences, whether it is pro cycling, soccer, etc. I am very proud of the Ridge at 38 and Wheat Ridge Cyclery for offering equal prize money this year. So, again thank you!

Julie, thank you very much again for your time this evening. Was there anything you wanted to add?
It is an awesome event and I hope women show up in all categories because it is really a great course and a great opportunity.

Join us June 12th from 9:00am-7:00pm for The Ridge at 38 Criterium Bike Race & Brewfest. This is a FREE event for the whole family!

For more information visit the website event page at: http://ridgeat38.com/play/criterium/ or you can also go to our Facebook event page at:https://www.facebook.com/event/1754611138092396/

Flesher-Hinton relocates its prestige to Wheat Ridge

Flesher-Hinton, Wheat Ridge’s newest addition, has over 60 years in the business and is the second oldest music store in the state of Colorado. With a grand opening currently being planned for the summer, Flesher-Hinton sells instruments, sheet music, and accessories while providing affordable private music lessons, rentals and instrument repair.

Located off 44th Avenue just west of Sheridan, between Fenton Street and Gary Street, you’ll find this music sanctuary, now exclusive to Wheat Ridge. Originally just starting off repairing music instruments for local schools, Mel Flesher and his brother in-law Carl Hinton opened for business in 1951. Shortly after passing away in the 80’s, Mel’s wife Geraldine took over, until eventually handing it down to her two children and current owners, Herve and Kristi Flesher.

Colorado native Dave Sampskins, who works at Flesher-Hinton, sits down and we start sharing stories about music classes in college. Dave, who grew up and still plays the bass, reminisced about getting his first instrument in third grade at Flesher-Hinton. Although the freshest staff member, he says the average employee has worked at Flesher- Hinton for over 20 years.

Ecstatic about their new location, which offers more space in a less compact and sophisticated layout, he says another big factor was choosing the right neighborhood that had a strong sense of community much like where they were previously located. They particularly enjoy their new straightforward storefront and parking lot, opposed to the confusing and difficult situation they had before. It didn’t help that teachers and customers found their old location to be arduous to get to. Despite that, their success has been a unique combination of a expertise, experience, professionalism, and affordability, topped off with friendly customer service. After the interview, Dave was handing out stickers and Jeff offered me a free t-shirt from a stack they had left over from an event.

Tell me about Flesher – Hinton – What got you or the business started, How did the idea for your business come about and when did you start?
It started as a repair shop in 1951’. Mel Flesher, started the company with his brother in-law, Carl Hinton. They started out by just fixing band and orchestra instruments for local schools. That’s still a large part of our business, but we’ve branched out to retail sales, sheet music and instrument and the like, as well as lessons and instrument rentals. He ran the company with his wife Geraldine for many years, and now their children, Herv and Kristi Flesher, own the business and live here in Wheat Ridge.

That’s great! You guys have been open a very long time…
We are one of the oldest in the state, so yeah, we’ve been here doing this for a long time. I’m the new guy, actually… and I’ve been here 15 years I think, so…(we both laugh hysterically).
(Still fresh meat huh?) Yeah, they’re still hazing me. But seriously, most of the technicians in the repair shop have been here 20 to 30 years, so we have a lot of experience under our belts here.

That’s incredible employee retention to say the least…
Well, it’s a family business so we try to treat everyone like we would our family, so it’s worked out well.

How long have you been located or have lived in Wheat Ridge for? Or why did you move/relocate to Wheat Ridge?
Our business moved here in February, so that’s about 3 months now? Tennyson was just very crowded, and customers found it to be an endeavor just to get there. You couldn’t just swing by on your way and drop a horn off, or get a couple reeds, you’d have to plan an afternoon around it. So we were hearing more and more, especially from teachers, that it was really burdensome to get to the store. Say you have a truckload of tubas that need to be repaired, you can’t park two blocks away and walk them over. So Tennyson was very nice, it’s fast paced and it’s growing, but the rapid growth was making it a lot harder to do what we do. Out here, it’s a little smaller than our building was there, but we’ve got a parking lot which is so much better, it’s just a more functional space. We’ve got space for deliveries, pickups, and our customers now. Our location is overall just much easier to get to get to and more accessible off the highway.
We miss some of the quirks from our old building though, I don’t know if you’ve ever been in that store? It was an old renovated theater from the turn of the century, really old movie theater turned into a music store. A very cool building, it had this gigantic marquis signs hanging over and above the street. We were doing everything spread out over 3 floors though, floors that had been forced into a movie theater over a hundred years (laughs). But yeah, we’re settling in here at the new location nicely, and it’s really starting to feel like home now.

How do you like it so far?
It’s great so far! We’re starting to meet the neighbors, we’ve signed on for the Rumble on 44th, and met some folks from Shop44th, the neighborhood group. It seems like it’s a nice neighborhood community. Coming from Tennyson street, there used to be a lot of the sense of community, but it felt like a lot of that was getting lost as the older businesses either moved or closed up shop. But a lot of those businesses have been moving out here across Sheridan we’ve noticed. There’s a little more room for us to do what we do.

I think the secrets getting out about Wheat Ridge…
A lot of the musicians I know, that grew up in north Denver are now moving out to places like Wheat Ridge because you can still afford to live in a house for a Musicians income.

What has been your biggest challenge for your business?
Getting the word out that we’ve moved, you know, we try to do our social media, update all our listings, get in touch with the press and things like that, but people drive by our old location, and see the signs down and windows papered over, and think that like so many other small, local music stores do, we’ve closed. We’ve been trying to fight the rumors that we’re closed rather then moved which has been fun. We want to let everyone know that we’re still doing what we love, just a little further out west.

What has been the biggest success?
Getting here and getting the doors open, it’s been a very busy couple months but we’re doing great. It’s also been tough getting all of the teachers transitioned in, and it was a challenge getting through all of the inspections and construction while we were still open, but it seems that we are running at full speed now so the big success has been getting back up to normal operating speed (laughs). Who would have thought moving a business from the location they’d been in for more than 60 years would be so much work?

Could you describe one of your typical workdays? What do you find most enjoyable?
The thing I enjoy the most is when a kid comes into the store and wants to play an instrument, and doesn’t know where to start – so you let them hold a violin, then let them try out a clarinet or trumpet, and then they find something that they really like. We do a lot of student rentals here, and we try to make it easy and affordable to get an instrument, because a good instrument can be expensive, and we don’t want that cost to be a barrier to a child, or even an adult, discovering that passion. We also see a lot of parents whose kids have tried soccer or gymnastics or whatever it may be, and now their child wants to join band or orchestra, and they ask “how long are you going to be into this for?” Again, you don’t want that kid to miss out on what may be their passion because of the cost of an instrument. but you know when you get an instruments in a kid’s hand and you see them fall in love with it, that’s fantastic.
Some of those kids, I’ve seen start now, and you watch them come in over the years for lessons and repairs, and eventually they come in and get their first professional instrument or they’re going off to college to play. If you’ve been here long enough, you’ve seen kids go through their own journey, and eventually you’re out gigging with those same kids. It’s really amazing to see it all come full circle. I came here with my family in third grade actually to get my first instrument, so same thing. It’s just really fun to connect kids to instruments and watch them fall in love with it, which is the most rewarding part of any day I’d say.

Does your organization have any big plans for 2016?
Rumble on 44th – we’d like to do a grand opening but we just don’t know when yet. We’re still putting some things away before we get to that point but we’d like to do a big grand opening party in the summer at some point, get some bands and just have a fun time with it. Maybe we’ll do it in July? We’ll get the word out to everybody we can.

If a young entrepreneur walked up and asked for your advice but you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?
Do it because you love doing it, not because of the money. When you have lean times, its nice to do be doing something you enjoy.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests? What is your favorite thing to do while in Wheat Ridge for fun?
I have a croquet league – we play in a lot of parks located in Wheat Ridge. Every week the winner calls the next park, so Apel-Bacher and Randall Park here on the corner, are some of our favorite parks to play in, so we certainly enjoy the facilities. I’m here every day, so I’m trying to learn all of the businesses, my new spring hobby has been to go out walking and try new places, or discovering the local options for lunch. When you get over to 38th, Colorado Plus is really cool; I went there the other day. Grammy’s Goodies is fantastic. Wheat Ridge Lanes is my favorite place to bowl in the city too; I mean cheap beers and no black lights?

If you had the power to solve one and only one problem in the world, what would it be and why?
Hunger. When people can eat, they have time to pursue their passions.

If you could high five one person, living or not, who would it be?
My son. I hug him and high five him every day, and it’s the absolute best thing in the entire world.

The old adage rings true; Age ain’t nothing but a number at Flesher-Hinton, so stop by if you need to get your trumpet fixed, someone in your family is in the market for an instrument, or you just need to pick up some reeds for your son’s sax. Located at 5890 W 44th Ave, Wheat Ridge, CO 80212, they are open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9am to 6pm. They’re also open Wednesday 9am to 8pm, Saturday 9am to 4pm and closed on Sundays. Join us in welcoming them to the neighborhood because after all they’re not just the 2nd oldest music store in Colorado,they’re a local tradition.

Call 303.433.8891 or visit www.FlesherHinton.com to browse their online store, get rental information, see upcoming events or view their private instructor list, and more!


Ridge at 38 Criterium Bike Race and Brewfest Volunteer Information

Ridge at 38 Criterium Bike Race and Brewfest

2016 LogobrewfestNEW


Volunteering Information:

WHO: You!

WHY: To help with a great event for a great cause. The mission of Ridge at 38 is to be a hub of positive growth for the community by hosting events like the Ridge at 38 Criterium and Brewfest, promoting local restaurants and shops, and supporting close relationships between community.

WHERE: The Ridge at 38 ride starts and finishes in front of Wheat Ridge Cyclery.

WHEN: To volunteer you must be available for:

1) Brief Volunteer training meeting: Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 6:00pm (If you can’t make this date please volunteer let us know)

2) Ridge at 38 Criterium: Sunday, June 12, 2016 Shift options include:
Morning (Times vary by assignment. Approx. 4-5 hours between 7:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.)
Mid-Day (Times vary by assignment. Approx. 4-5 hours between 11:30 a.m. & 5 p.m.)
Afternoon/Evening 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
All day 8:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Are you available Saturday, 6/11 to assist with event preparation?
* Early volunteer positions include set-up help, and late volunteer positions include tear-down help

WHAT: Volunteer Positions include:
Information table and Registration: Help register cyclists and provide information to attendees
Road Marshal: Warn cyclists at intersections and other locations on the ride
General Assistance
Main-stage entertainment: Help assist with band and performance set up on the main stage
Brewfest ticket sales
Vendor ambassador
VIP tent or kids area ambassador
VIP tent access with food
VIP bleacher access with great views
2 beer tickets with commemorative cup
Tee shirt


Elixir Pilates & Wellness calls Ridge at 38 home

In the fit state of Colorado, wellness business owners can find it hard to distinguish themselves from the competition. That’s not an issue for Elixir Pilates & Wellness, which continually strives to give clients safe, effective, challenging, and fun workouts with world-class instruction.

Owner and instructor Kathryn Shelton isn’t just a certified Pilates teacher, she has trained under some of the most well-known and respected Pilates masters in modern times. Originally an athlete, she graduated from the University of Michigan and soon thereafter began Pilates training.

Tell me about Elixir Pilates & Wellness. What got you or the business started? Tell me about its roots.
Well, I received my Pilates certification in 2001 with the long term goal of owning my own studio. When I relocated to the Front Range, the opportunity to own Elixir presented itself. The previous owner of the studio and I worked together for a year so I could learn the business, get to know the clients and make sure that it was a good fit. And after that time, the ownership was transitioned over to me. That was almost two years ago. Elixir will celebrate 10 years in business in 2017.

Has it always been at this location?
Nope, so it was originally at 32nd and Lowell and then as the Highlands went through a “re-gentrification process” I’ll call it, rents got out of hand and a lot of small businesses had to relocate or close. Unfortunately that is sometimes what happens when areas go through resurgences, but we moved the studio to Wheat Ridge and it will be 4 years at this location in July. And it’s been a really good fit! We’ve enjoyed being over here. Most of the people who do Pilates at Elixir live within a two mile radius of the studio and some even walk to classes, so we truly are serving the local residents. I’m hopeful that with what’s happening with Ridge at 38, we’ll be able to manage the good, positive changes without the congestion that the Highlands is experiencing. I’ve talked with people about how we can make those positive changes without squeezing out locals; I think we can do it.

Could you describe one of your typical workdays?
Every day is different, absolutely – running the website, scheduling, answering questions, helping new clientele get started, managing staff and the studio space. For example, we share space with the Kinjo Akido Dojo four evenings a week after the Pilates classes are completed, and also in a separate area we offer massage therapy. Occasionally we do offer workshops, you know, just depending on people’s interests. Sometimes the workshops might speak to people’s diet, or another may teach clients a how to have a home practice. For instance, do you see those foam rollers back there? Recently, we had a foam roller workshop where people came to the studio and learned how to use the roller at home on their own to stretch and strengthen their muscles. Ultimately we want people to consider their health and wellness, while empowering them to make positive changes that help them continue to be active.

What do you find most enjoyable about your work?
Well for me, I’ve always wanted to do something in the healing arts because I find that it’s personally more fulfilling. I feel like what I do is actually changing people’s lives in a positive way. I think I make a positive difference in my client’s lives by providing safe, effective, challenging, and fun workouts. Sometimes clients come in dragging but leave feeling energized, which helps make it all worth it for me at the end of a long day.

What has been your biggest challenge for your business?
I would say it’s probably that it’s all on me [laughs]. I wouldn’t say that I’m doing everything, but it feels like that some days [laughs]. Obviously I do have help, but it’s kind of like the buck stops here, so if anything or everything does happen, it’s all on me.

What has been the greatest success? Or what are you most proud about?
Well I’ve been involved in the Pilates community for 15 years now, so to be able to continue to find joy in teaching and to know I continue to give really great classes and private lessons is a success. And to be a younger person, and a woman at that, owning her own business, is something I’m very proud of.

Does your organization have any big plans for 2016?
A couple things come to mind. I’m looking into implementing a teacher training program. I’ve had people show interest in wanting to have that at Elixir, which would be great because there isn’t a studio close to here, that I know of, actually training teachers how to instruct Pilates. I’ve also been in contact with the IES Wheat Ridge Greenbelt project. I’m volunteering to be a tree steward, and I will also be doing some fundraising here through the studio. I’m not sure what it going to look like yet. It’s still in the works.
It is something I’m excited about because I don’t actually live in Wheat Ridge, but I am involved in the Wheat Ridge community because that’s where my business, so when I was contacted by IES I thought to myself, “ You know what? I’m a good environmentalist so this seems like a great way to partner up with a good cause and make a difference.”

What is your favorite inspirational quote, or what advice would you give someone?
Gosh, that’s a hard one! Um, I’m trying to think of what I would say to my son…I always tell him that it’s okay to make mistakes, but to make sure to learn from them and move on. I was just reading something on Thomas Edison, about how many times he failed – I’ve heard it was as many as 10,000 times before he created the light bulb, but whether it was 1,000 or 10,000 failures, what’s most important is that he continued to try. I feel that when something has gone wrong in someone’s life, they can get kind of latched on to that and start to identify themselves that way, as opposed to just saying – “You know what, that’s a mistake and it doesn’t define me. I can move on from this, I can learn from this, and leave it in the past and move forward.” That’s advice I give my little boy, so [laughs].

Do you have any hobbies or special interests? What is your favorite thing to do in Wheat Ridge for fun?
I like to go to Crown Hill because I like to use that open space a lot, and there are some really great restaurants over here too. I really like how it’s 15 minutes to anywhere, you know what I mean? It’s very convenient to get downtown or to get to I-70 to head to the mountains. I love that Wheat Ridge has open spaces that have been preserved, and we come here and use the parks and the playgrounds. We’re big outdoor people. I mean obviously because we live in Colorado, right? [laughs]

If you had the power to solve only one problem in the world, what would it be and why?
The environmental issues we’ve created. Like I said, that’s kind of my touch point, making sure that we have open spaces , and clean water, and that we’re not ruining animals’ habitats, and that we’re being respectful as human citizens, thinking of ourselves as being connected to the water, being connected and not separate from the wildlife and the trees. I probably sound like John Denver, [laughs] but I think as humans we are stewards of the earth.

If you could high five, shake hands, or hug one person, living or not, who would it be?
It would have to be Joseph Pilates. right!? [Laughs] it would HAVE to!

Anything else you’d like to say about Pilates?
There are misconceptions about Pilates – that it is for elite athletes, dancers or women only, and Joseph Pilates was a man. So there is that big misconception that it’s not for everybody but it can be as gentle or as challenging as it needs to be for each individual. And there is a misconception that Pilates is too easy or too hard but Pilates is broken into beginner, intermediate and advanced work. The work is so highly adaptable to each person that anybody can start at any age and at any physical shape that they’re in. So really ‘the work’ is about starting where you are currently and then lifting you up from there as you get stronger. I can’t say enough good things about it.

Elixir Pilates & Wellness specializes in Pilates classes, private instruction, senior fitness, pre and postnatal instruction, and injury rehabilitation. You can maximize your health and wellness by also utilizing additional services they offer, like Aikido classes, massage therapy and workshops. Their studio can be found at 7047 W. 38th Ave., Wheat Ridge, CO 80033. They are located in the Ridge at 38, along 38th Avenue just east of High Court and available seven days a week, with classes beginning at various times between 7am to 6:30pm. Elixir wants to benefit your life, while being flexible and making it as comfortable as possible to achieve your goals.

Call 303.594.9508 or visit www.ElixirDenver.com
to view and make appointments online.

Four Seasons Farmers and Artisans Market: Making it Easy to Buy and Support Local Goods

Four Seasons Farmers and Artisans Market is a gem worth discovering, less than a minute and tucked just a few blocks away from the intersection of Wadsworth Boulevard and 38th Avenue. Inside you’ll find an amazing collective of all natural, farm fresh and artisan goods – vegetables and fruits, dairy, eggs, butter, meat products, baked goods, paintings, jam and fruit butters, handmade soap and lip balm, honey, painted greeting cards, handmade jewelry, clothing, and even customized drink coasters – all sourced from local Colorado vendors.

At the center of this haven for local merchandise and food are two very committed and humble owners who are providing a place that will give local farmers and artists a platform to share and profit from their trade.

Extremely passionate about agriculture and education, Dick and Margaret Barkey come from a generation that believes in hard work and taking action to make a positive change in their community. From a long line of pioneers, their dream began when they first bought their farm in Weld county years ago. Margaret reminisces about the day they went out to California to trade a rare-breed boar they had bought. Now they own 25 hogs, 125 rare Soay sheep, and roughly 500 chickens that produce over 40 dozen eggs each week. “The abundance of eggs is actually what got us to join a farmers market in Denver before opening our own market,” says Margaret. When the Denver market closed, the Barkeys and their friends lacked a place to easily sell their fresh goods in the Denver metro. Dick and Margaret decided they wanted a place for people to go support their local community.

What got your business started?
Margaret: It was a process of evolution. At first we bought a farm in Weld County – eventually we wanted to have a place that went back to our farming roots.

What has been one of your biggest challenges?
M: It was difficult navigating all the various government permits required for our business and the improvements we made. The City of Wheat Ridge left me the nicest voicemail after explaining my frustrations.

What has been the best thing about opening Four Seasons?
Dick: The neighborhood has been very welcoming.
M: A city councilwoman was here the first morning, she’s not the council woman for this district but she still stopped by within the first 15 minutes of opening.

If you had the power to solve one problem in the world, what problem would you solve?
D: I think it would be poverty for me..
M: We see that in Weld County, it’s a big deal in urban counties and northern Colorado. I don’t think people really see that despite it being a problem throughout the entire state.

As a community of vendors at Four Seasons Farmers and Artisans Market, there are 25 indoor spots total with just a few current openings. Their location also features an education area where they are planning to have classes throughout the year, in addition to hosting a Bee Keeping series.

Four Seasons Farmers and Artisans Market can be found at 7043 W 38th Ave, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033. They are in the Ridge at 38 along 38th Avenue just east of High Court. Full of unique and local art, food and clothing – they are open Tuesday through Friday from 12pm to 6pm, Saturday 9am to 3pm, Sunday 10am to 2pm and closed on Mondays. Whether you’re looking for some fresh goat’s milk, some really cool mittens for a niece’s upcoming birthday present, or you want to impress your boss with some amazing honey, Four Season Farmers and Artisans Market is the spot to find something special and local.

To learn more about Four Season Farmers and Artisans Market, please call 720.560.6648 or visit their website online at: http://www.fourseasonsfam.com/

Vitruvian Fitness is the Solution to Living a Happier, Healthy Lifestyle

Along with the New Year, many people are making resolutions to live healthier lifestyles around this time and that’s where Vitruvian Fitness comes in. But as Vitruvian Fitness owner Tom Wigginton explains, owning a business is hard work.

Being a master of your craft is not enough; you also have to master the art of running a business while seeking out a support system that will help you improve your business for the better.

Originating in the corporate world, and after being laid off, Tom went back to school and searched within himself to find something that he found personally meaningful. “After a lot of soul searching, I decided that I wanted to get into personal training. I went back to school and got an education to become a trainer” he said. After making this big life change, he still felt something was missing. After being unsatisfied with his experience in big-box gyms, that is when his dream of Vitruvian was born. “…I realized that the big-box approach to fitness was very generic, not personal and more about building their revenue and less about the clients’ experience and personal improvement, so I decided to open up my own studio…” Tom said.

Vitruvian Fitness opened its doors in Wheat Ridge on August 1st in 2015. Originating in lower Highlands in 2010, the location was a busy street corner which gave them great visibility but Tom said that eventually they ran out of space. When the lease was up, it was the perfect time to relocate Vitruvian. “It’s been a phenomenal experience and a phenomenal ride,” he said. They open at 6 am and feature customized individual workout plans and group workouts that run throughout the day.

Tell me about Vitruvian Fitness – What got you or the business started, how did the idea for your business come about?
After being laid off after many years in the corporate world, it was time for me to find something that was much more meaningful and impactful at an individual level rather than in a big corporate type of environment. After a lot of soul searching, I decided that I wanted to get into personal training. After a couple of years in ‘big-box’ gyms, I realized the big-box approach to fitness was very generic, not personal and more about building their revenue and less about the clients’ experience and personal improvement, so I decided to open my own studio and I’ve never done anything more difficult in my entire life [laughs]… Running a business and also being a personal trainer is a lot of work. 80 percent of what I do is not being a trainer – it’s the business, marketing, management, accounting, it’s community relations – all of that stuff, you know? It doesn’t matter if I’m making pie or if I’m making cars, 80 percent is the same in any business you go into. So, that’s been a big eye opener and one of the biggest challenges.

At Vitruvian, we specialize in getting people back to their previous active abilities. Our target clientele is 35 to 70 years old. We’ve had great success with people who’ve had some type of injury or chronic disease, hip replacements, should reconstructions, or people who’ve had sedentary lifestyles due to their commitment to their careers and families … That’s our specialty and we do it in a semi-private environment for people who need that focus or in a group environment for people who prefer a larger setting. And by large I mean 12- 16 people total.

We had wonderful success and a great location in LoHi. The space was just too small. When our 5-year lease was up, we decided we wanted to expand and among the reasons we choose Wheat Ridge was the cost of commercial space being significantly less than it is in the Highlands. We got our new place, which is 3 and a half times bigger and has better amenities for less rent than we were paying before. The unfortunate part of the move is many of our previous clients didn’t follow us so we were starting over again at a level less than we projected. Now we’re 6 months in and we’re back on track.

Could you describe one of your typical workdays? What do you find most enjoyable?
We open up at 6am for personal training and group classes. Training clients work on programs that have been designed specifically for their needs and goals. Group classes are a little less individualized but the groups are small enough that everyone gets a lot of attention. We train until around lunch then we take a break and it starts back up again around 3pm through the evening.

The most rewarding part about this is when somebody presents us with a problem and we help them solve it. For example, when a client’s bone density improves and is able to stay off the meds, or watching a client with a joint replacement begin to thrive again, or when a client is able to continue going to concerts at Red Rocks, or is able to run pain-free . . . I love that. It’s the most amazing thing. So getting to share in those experiences with our clients, getting them newly capable of something they couldn’t do before, that’s amazing.

How long have you been located or have lived in Wheat Ridge for? Or why did you move/relocate to Wheat Ridge? Why do you stay?
I’m a Denver native and moved to northwest Denver in 2003. We moved the business to Wheat Ridge after 5 years and opened August 1, 2015.

How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful for you?
Our old address in LoHi was good for about 25 to 50 percent of our new business. We were highly visible on a corner where people were walking by all day long, biking and driving cars by all the time. It was a very vibrant, pedestrian and bicycle friendly street corner so we had a lot of activity based on our address. Here, we have an awesome parking lot but we are set back from 44th Avenue and our street exposure is greatly diminished, so we still need to solve for that.

We’ve had great results getting new clients from professional referrals such as physical therapists, chiropractors and other medical professionals. Many people also find us via online search on Google and Yelp.

One of the things we know will be good for business is by engaging with Localworks, engaging with the Wheat Ridge Business Association and getting involved in other community events so people can see what we do, recognize the value to them, before they actually come walk through the door.

Does your organization have any big plans for 2016?
We have 3 events planned so far and we’re working on more. We love riding bikes and so we like to help people experience the awesomeness of going on big long rides. Our first event is a June bike ride called the MS150 which is a benefit for multiple sclerosis. Participants ride 150 miles over 2 days and it’s a fun, great community event, and phenomenal cause . Our second is the Courage Classic which is a benefit for Children’s Hospital. Our third one is the Copper Triangle and that’s a benefit for the Davis Phinney Foundation which has programs for Parkinson’s Disease. All three of those events have some personal connections with staff or clients.

If a young entrepreneur walked up and asked for your advice but you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?
Being a master of your craft is not enough; you also have to master the art of running a business and to seek out a support system that will help you run your business better. I totally encourage people to own their own businesses, but it’s not easy.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests? What is your favorite thing to do while in Wheat Ridge for fun?
I have 3-year-old twins who have enriched my life more than anything. So, every opportunity I have to be with or play with them, that is what I enjoy doing the most. I also love riding bikes, fly-fishing, playing golf and sailing.

If you had the power to solve one and only one problem in the world, what would it be and why?
I don’t think that we as a global community are happy and I would love to change that.

If you could high five, handshake or hug one person, living or not, who would it be?
I will go with Robin Williams playing Patch Adams. [laughs]

Ready to start living a healthy lifestyle or maybe you have a new or old injury that needs some attention? Whatever may be holding you back, Tom and Vitruvian Fitness have the solution. Vitruvian fitness is open Monday through Thursday from 6am to 8 pm, Friday from 6 am to noon, and Saturday from 8 am to noon. Stop by to see Tom and his team, we think their future is bright in Wheat Ridge and we can’t wait to grow along with them.

To learn more about Vitruvian and to see their class schedule, please visit their website online at: http://www.vmfit.com/


Wheat Ridge 2020 is now Localworks

logo-01For more than a decade, Wheat Ridge 2020 has been an integral part of Wheat Ridge’s culture, working as a catalyst for revitalization and community connection. Now, as the city continues to grow, the Wheat Ridge 2020 organization will evolve as well.

Introducing Localworks, the all-new, rebranded Wheat Ridge 2020. Localworks will carry on the same mission and values of the organization, advancing a vibrant and sustainable Wheat Ridge while becoming an even stronger force for connection and development. Localworks shines the spotlight on what really makes the community great: The impassioned and committed residents.

Defined by three pillars of action—Connect, Volunteer, Create—Localworks puts the power of change in the hands of citizens, empowering all residents to take part in the future of Wheat Ridge. By connecting, volunteering and creating new opportunities, Localworks ensures everyone has a role and a voice in the future of our great city.

Why I am involved in Wheat Ridge 2020 – Janeece Hoppe

I am the President of the Board of Directors for WR2020 and one of Wheat Ridge 2020’s events is the reason my family has invested so much in this community.

In 2010 my husband and I were looking for a new office for our company Compass Construction; we had literally grown out of our office space on 44th and Tennyson. We went from 2 of us sharing an office to 4 of us in a matter of a few months. We had looked into several places around the Denver metro area and found one that we sort of liked. Then we were doing some work for The Family Tree Treasure Trunk and saw the broken down, half built, leaking roof, and mushroom growing building across the street. A nightmare to some, but a contractors dream!

So we started to ask around about Wheat Ridge, the unfortunate story we heard was that the city was hard to work with. Then I asked our friend, a real estate agent, his opinion of Wheat Ridge. He had just gone on the Realtor Tour with WR2020, he said prior to that tour he really had no opinion on Wheat Ridge, but that the tour convinced him that Wheat Ridge would be the new “hot” market in a few years. He shared with us the insight he gained from the Realtor Tour with WR2020; he also shared the Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy(NRS). After I read the NRS, I decided to do a little more digging into Wheat Ridge, and I contacted Britta at WR2020.

Britta met with me, gave me a little history on the building I was looking at and helped me set up a meeting with the building department to answer some of our “can we do this” questions. This is all work we did before we decided to buy the property. When we were thinking about the purchase, there were 7 vacant, for sale or lease properties within a few blocks of us. I wish I had a picture, it was very sad looking.

After doing our due diligence and speaking with the building department we decided to purchase our building. We decided to purchase our building, even though the street was looking pretty rough at the time, because we knew the city had a plan for future prosperity for Wheat Ridge via the NRS.  The City also had some good incentive to take the risk, the Building Up Business Loan Program from WR2020 and the Grant Programs from Wheat Ridge Business District (WRBD).  After we purchased our building and worked in Wheat Ridge for a while, we decided to move from Denver and make our home in Wheat Ridge.

Because I agreed with the work that WR2020 was doing, and had experienced it firsthand, I applied to be on the Board of Directors. I was soon asked by the City Council if I would accept an appointment to the WRBD Board of Directors. What have I brought to the community since? I am one of the 3 founding members of Live Local. Live Local Wheat Ridge was created by Wheat Ridge 2020 to help connect community members to each other in person and one on one, and to support our community of small business. The monthly Live Local Dines to meet up at the dinner table together, yoga in the park to connect in nature, cruiser crawls for good times on our bikes, food and film, sharing stories and food, harvest swaps…. It is a long and successful list.

My husband and I also are the ones who spend a weekend in September cutting out giant pumpkins to give to the business on 38th for free, so that we may have an interesting , fun and united (in one thing) holiday spirit in our town instead of having to go to another town to feel that sense of community.  And love them or hate them I was also on the 4 person committee to beautify the repurposed planters from over 30 years ago. The planters were going to get used, and I loved the idea of repurposing them but wanted to help give them a little flair with art panels sponsored by local residents and businesses.

I don’t tell you all this to toot my horn, I tell you all this to demonstrate how what may seem a small program like the Realtor Tour, it is the pebble that started the ripples, that turned to waves of positive change and contribution.  This would not have happened without WR2020. I tell you this because it is my testimony about the good things WR2020 does for our community.

I hope you will consider joining us advancing Wheat Ridge as a vibrant and sustainable community.