From openings and closings to moves and expansions, there was plenty of notable business news this year.
One of the top stories was The Hot Spot partnering with Sky Ranch Golf and Grill and moving its restaurant from Fourth and Main to the golf course located at 17408 Hwy. 14, in Sterling. Andy Meick, principal owner of The Hot Spot, said the move was due in part to the fact that they felt with the added seating capacity they could continue to grow the business.
Another top story, love it or hate it, was the opening of Starbucks. Located at 425 Poplar St., the coffee shop owned by Elisa Sa, officially opened its doors in August and celebrated with a Logan County Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting.
Other new businesses opening their doors this year included Sweetgrass Boutique, a hair salon and clothing boutique located at 120 N. Fourth Street, in Sterling; El Sabor de la Vida restaurant, a Mexican food truck that expanded to a full restaurant located at 100 Broadway Street Suite 4, in Sterling; The GioCache Family Farm, a seedling and flower farm that also sells artwork, located at 15211 County Road 28.1; R&R Rent a Car, located at 429 N. Third Street, in Sterling; Memoria Roasters, a coffee roasting company run by Mariano Aguilar that sells whole beans and fresh-ground beans at Econic, Boondocks Army Surplus and online; Tipsy Cow Wagon, a food truck operated by a Merino restaurant with the same name that can be found parked at 329 W. Main Street Tuesday through Friday; Country Car Rental, located at 1309 Sidney Ave., in Sterling; American Family Insurance, a farm ranch, commercial, home, car, life and business insurance company located at 129 N. Third St. Suite 5, in Sterling; Boudoir by Nicole, a photography studio located at 621 W. Main St., in Sterling; Wild Spirit Development, a website design company that Sterlingite Lauren Russell runs out of her home.
Another highlight this year was the June unveiling of a new bronze Triune sculpture created by local artist Brad Rhea and the dedication of the Sterling Community Fund Founders Wall at Heritage Park. Local businesses and individuals played key parts in helping the park and its latest enhancements come to fruition.
The community also celebrated the unveiling of a new mural on top of an old elevator at Riverwalk RV Park, just west of the South Platte River on E. Chestnut. Painted by 2 Girls and a Mural, it was unveiled in June, at the Logan County Arts League’s Beer, Brats and Blues event, which included a ribbon cutting by the Chamber.
Other businesses who celebrated becoming Chamber members with ribbon cuttings this year include: Country KickUp Sterling, a country line dance group; High Plains Dice and Games; Mi Ranchito; Bobcat of the Rockies; Wickham Tractor; Energy Resource Center; Tipsy Cow Bar and Grill; Edward Jones Nicki Swedlund; Econic; Lenox Realty LLC; Generation Good Respect; Sweetly Vintage; TAKARA, a Japanese convenience store; Cattleya by Steele Terrain.
Additionally, Shipping and Stuff was already a member but celebrated with a Chamber ribbon cutting when it re-opened at its new location, 631 W. Main Street, in Sterling.
It was also a big year for the Chamber itself, which welcomed a new executive director, Catlin Baseggio, in June. She has already brought a breath of fresh air to the organization, launching new Hometown Marketplace events with various vendors and revamping monthly Business Roundtable meetings to provide an opportunity for business owners, leaders and entrepreneurs to come together and discuss challenges, opportunities and the future of Logan County businesses.
Another leadership change came at Salud Family Health, when Pradeep Dhar, MD, took over as the new chief medical officer at the beginning of the year.
Other top business stories in the medical field included Sterling Regional MedCenter rolling out new tele-nephrology technology allowing dialysis patients who need to be admitted for hospital care to be treated in Sterling, and the VA (Veterans Affairs) clinic coming back to Sterling. Located in the Northeastern Junior College Hays Student Center, the clinic has nursing onsite every Wednesday along with a telehealth provider. Vets can make appointments for the clinic by calling (303)778-7550 and selecting Option 2 and again Option 2.
Additionally, longtime dentist Dr. Matthew Janda sold his Sterling dentistry practice to Dr. Carly Schrade, who opened Pradera Dental in May; Dr. Colin Windom officially took ownership of Sterling Dental, renaming it Windom Family Dentistry, in June; and in November it was announced that another local dentist, Dr. Jim Armbruster had retired and sold his practice to Dr. Trent Sayers.
Other top stories centered on current local businesses expanding. In May, 21st Century Equipment announced the construction of a new facility at the current location in Sterling, which will serve as the company’s flagship location for bulk fluids and service technician training, and the following month it was announced that 4Rivers Equipment, headquartered in Greeley, had merged its agricultural division with 21st Century Equipment.
Platte River Tire also expanded its services when it was announced, in October, that the store had signed on as a U-Haul® neighborhood dealer to serve the Sterling community. It offers U-Haul trucks, trailers, towing equipment, support rental items and pre-tow inspection.
There was also some celebrating to do when one Sterling business, the iconic Das Locken Haus beauty salon, celebrated its 50th anniversary earlier this year. When the salon held an event in September to celebrate the milestone it was announced that it was under new management, with Beyond the Mirror by Sara Kay Newth joining longtime owners Ranae Lauer and Irma Schell.
But it wasn’t all good news. In May, Adams Bank and Trust announced that the Sterling branch would be closing its doors in August, due in part to not having enough personnel to adequately staff the branch and provide the high level of customer support and service that the bank expects their customers to receive.
Based in New York, Stephen Freeman is a Senior Editor at Trending Insurance News. Previously he has worked for Forbes and The Huffington Post. Steven is a graduate of Risk Management at the University of New York.