Shred Shack bicycle repair shop is now operating in By Word of Mouth, where an infrequently used server station used to be. PHOTO BY JANA BOUNDS

Pivoting prowess

COVID-19 GENERATES CREATIVE IDEAS BY AREA BUSINESS OWNERS

Analytical thinking rates high with business-savvy folks, but when combined with creative ideas – well, that is when magic can happen. COVID-19 created countless obstacles for business owners, but it also generated a shift in thinking – and in some cases, opportunity. The power and the prowess to pivot cannot be underrated, especially now.

A little maneuvering for a big difference

Pam Flach had an epiphany when she was driving her vehicle. The restaurant she owns with her husband – By Word of Mouth (BYOM) – had wasted space. A little-used server station, an ice machine that could be moved to the kitchen, a small office that could be shifted to the wine room. Her spatial intelligence was on rapid-fire as she shifted the entire restaurant around in her mind.

She called her husband excitedly with the plan – they would create a place for another business.

“We had a lot of wasted space and thought it would be great if we could have a little extra income and traffic,” she said. “Our whole family loves to bike and we wanted the restaurant to be more fun.”

Now, with some maneuvering and renovations the Shred Shack bicycle repair shop is operating out of BYWOM.

A business born 20 years ago

Terry and Lance Thomas, longtime owners of Thomas Heating and Sheet Metal have decided to fully embrace a business they started 20 years ago. A friend had a bunch of rotten wood logs on his deck and requested help. The brothers figured-out a way of artistically capping the upright log railings on decks.

“Every log has cracks and snow gets in there and freezes, expands and they end up rotting. You have to cut them and find some good wood,” Terry said. “To replace those logs would be thousands of dollars – and some of these logs are structural. If they start rotting really badly, it would cost a lot of money to replace them. Once you put caps on, you’re good to go forever. ”

They said the caps now make up around 30% of their business – and it is something they have never advertised.

Now, they recently came up with a name and are officially launching Copper Cap Kings.

Prepping for the new Swifty

Up on the mountain, the Big Sky Resort team members started looking at projects and thinking about what steps they could make.

“This summer, Dopelmayr and the Big Sky Mountain Operations team are getting a head start on construction for the new Swift Current 6 chairlift,” Tom Marshall, vice president of Mountain Operations said. “Teams are getting ahead of the game with fondation work to set us up for success for a full lift replacement during summer 2021.”

The new high-speed Swift Current 6 chairlift is set to debut for the 2021-22 ski season.

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