Rob Brouillette expands work in Steamboat with Midwest fence franchise
Building a fence business
September 14, 2010
Steamboat Springs — Things changed this summer for local fence builder Rob Brouillette.
After owning Country Fence for 15 years, working out of the Denver area before returning about three years ago to his native Steamboat Springs, Brouillette sold his business July 1 to Guier Fence, a large company with several warehouses and showrooms in the Midwest. Guier Fence was looking to grow into Colorado, and Brouillette was looking to grow his business.
"I did as much as I could as far as I could," Brouillette said about Country Fence. "I was trying to look for ways to expand my company and get a better presence."
The sale already has paid off for Brouillette, who now is a district manager for Guier Fence, covering Colorado and Wyoming. He has six staff members working out of Steamboat Springs and, for the first time, an office with showroom space, in Riverfront Park on Steamboat's west side. Guier Fence offered capital, a much larger line of credit and other benefits, Brouillette said.
"He had great relationships, but what he didn't have was the capital to expand," Lea Bailes, president of Guier Fence, said about Brouillette. "We're hoping … from July 1 to June 30, our first full year of being open, we're hoping to do $1 million in revenue or more."
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Brouillette said the sale of Country Fence and his new business growth underscores the fact that regardless of a down economy, property lines still are property lines in the West. And people still need to fence them.
"Fence (construction) is huge in Colorado," Rob Brouillette said. "Everybody's got a fence.
"It's a very busy industry," he continued. "The past two years are some of the best years I've ever seen. It's crazy."
Eddie Keiser, of Great Divide Fencing, and Tony McKendrick, of McKendrick Contracting, which specializes in fencing, could not be reached Monday.
Brouillette said he stays in contact with other local fence builders — he talked with Keiser on Monday morning, he said — and thinks that there's enough specialization and style differences between them to keep work flowing for all.
Brouillette, who graduated from Steamboat Springs High School in 1987, said he's had his hands full lately. Last week, he worked on fencing in sensitive-vegetation areas in Rocky Mountain National Park and bordering a water treatment plant in Mesa Verde National Park, he said. His staff recently installed more than 9 miles of barbed-wire fence around the Atwood ranch on Copper Mountain in Steamboat, stretching in a loop from the city's west side to Strawberry Park and back.
Brouillette said when completed, the new showroom in Riverfront Park will allow him to display styles such as the wrought-iron fence he recently completed at the Van Scoyk residence on Steamboat Boulevard.
"He was a great person to work with, he did an amazing job," Karen Van Scoyk said. "We were so delighted with what they did."