Ted AlvarezVail, CO, Colorado

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August 11, 2007
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A man and his mechanical bull

Some humans are driven by destiny to live out their dreams. Picasso had paints, Dylan had music and Patrick Tvarkunas has always wanted to own and operate his very own mechanical bull.I had thought of it years and years ago back in my younger days I just got the idea from talking with a guy I used to coach pole vaulting with at Battle Mountain, Tvarkunas says. Among my family and friends, there were mixed reviews.They wanted us to be cautious. But some of them said, you dont have any kids, nows the time to go. Once I got the approval from (my wife), I really went for it.Lucila Tvarkunas was in Argentina when Patricks grand plans came to him like a dream. She maintained her skepticism, but soon opened up to the idea of welcoming a bouncing bull into the family.I got a little nervous I thought it was just one of the ideas he has everyday, and then I realized when we kept talking about it that he started getting serious, she says. I came back from Argentina, and we already have a bull!

Patrick had already obtained the bovine of his dreams from where else the Internet, but there was a problem: It didnt buck. It didnt shake. It didnt even move.There was a girl I called who ran a mechanical bull herself, and she gave me a name, and I called that person, and then another person, and inside of two months I was setting up the business while waiting for the apparatus itself to be shipped from Maine, Patrick says. It arrived in early July and it didnt work. They assemble them in England, so I spent nights webcamming with a guy who builds them, and we discovered it was just one little wire.Thus Dynamite was born, and he made his debut on an auspicious Friday the 13th in July at the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo. Thanks to the preparation of 7-year valley residents Patrick and Lucila, No-Bull Entertainment has already lined up headlining gigs for Dynamite in Snowmass, Steamboat, Eagle, Denver and Vail, where he challenges brave would-be-bullriders at the Vail Farmers Market every Sunday.People have the idea from back in the day, where people broke their arms Urban Cowboy-style, but now its all computers and really safe, Patrick says. We can set it for ages 2 and up, and weve even had an 85-year-old lady do a warm-up ride. If you can do it in your head, we can get you into the ring.Despite being skeptical at first, Dynamites success has brought Lucila around to the joys of mechanical bull proprietorship.I think my favorite part is seeing people laugh and have a great time, she says. And when the kids get on, I love looking at their parents faces; you can see theyre so proud of them.Riding Dynamite costs $7 a turn, and Patrick Tvarkunas says most people last about a minute in the saddle. But a few pros have tested their mettle and lasted longer which is good for business.The guys who stay on are pretty much who you would think of real bullriders are all about 5 6, he says. We actually had some guy who grew up on a ranch in Mexico, and he was just killing it. Since Miguel was killing it, he and his friends kept coming back over and over to see who could stay on the longest.

Dynamite is surprisingly versatile he can thrash in or outdoors, and he only requires a performance space of 20 by 20 and 10 feet high. While most of the bulls showings have been at outdoors events, the Tvarkunases hope to showcase Dynamite at bars, hotels and other corporate events.John Tyler, of Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate, hired Dynamite as a feature performer for the opening of their new South Fork Meadows neighborhood in Edwards.I went to the Eagle Rodeo and thought, I just saw you in the paper, and since we were having a Western-themed opening, theyd be perfect, Tyler says. It was a great event Patrick and Lucila are very professional, and (the bull) was super fun. Locals and visitors all wanted to give it a try. You cant keep kids off the thing, and then eventually all the adults want to get on. I was surprised that it doesnt really take any power to run. I highly recommend it.Patrick attributes much of Dynamites success to the unique partnership he and Lucila share: Hes the dreamer, and shes the realist.Shes the accounting side of our relationship, he says. She just wanted to make sure it all worked out. It mightve been my idea, but you need that rational balance.Its kind of a different thing, but now were actually running this business together, she says. I cant complain.Seven-season locals Patrick and Lucila have extensive backgrounds working the service sector in high-class hotels and restaurants, where they met four years ago. We offer fine-dining service, but with a mechanical bull, Patrick says. He stops to think for a second. Well, the same quality of service, but without the pretension of fine dining.Dynamite would expect nothing less.Arts & Entertainment writer Ted Alvarez can be reached at 748-2939 or talvarez@vaildaily.com.Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado


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The VailDaily Updated Aug 15, 2007 12:44PM Published Aug 11, 2007 03:35PM Copyright 2007 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.