The Gallegos Corporation celebrates 40 years in the Vail Valley
Vail, CO, Colorado
Ask virtually anyone in the Vail Valley to name a stonework company – the most likely answer is “Gallegos.”
The Gallegos Corporation this year celebrates 40 years in business in the Vail Valley. After parlaying a summer job into an apprenticeship, Gerald Gallegos started his own company in 1970. He began making his mark early on, as one of the few local masonry companies to work through the winter.
Younger brother Bob Gallegos came to Vail to join the company in 1980. That same year, the company landed much of the stone work at the brand-new Beaver Creek ski resort. Over the years, work at Beaver Creek and other areas has prompted the company to open concrete, stucco/plaster and marble/granite divisions. The list of big projects the company has participated in runs pages long.
While the company has expanded, and has offices in Aspen, Telluride and other areas, the Gallegos family is deeply rooted in the valley. The company also has several employees who have spent as much as 30 years of their own careers working for the Gallegos family.
To commemorate the company’s anniversary, Gerald Gallegos recently answered a handful of questions about the company and his family’s involvement in the valley’s life.
What prompted you to go into the stone business?
I was working as a hod carrier in the valley and was given a chance to become an apprentice stone mason. I liked the feel, textures and overall appearance of stone and especially enjoyed the appreciation of the clients when the work was completed. Stone work is an art form and becomes a main focal point on a residence or building.
When did you open your first office outside of Vail, and why?
We opened the Aspen office in 1982 and the Telluride office in 1983. We saw the opportunity to grow our business by expanding operations to Aspen and Telluride and stay in the market were getting highly regarded for – high-end residential and commercial stone work.
The Gallegos brothers and the company are well-known in the community for helping nonprofit groups and other worthy causes. Why is that important to you?
It’s important because we made a living here. It’s only right to give back – it’s important to give back.
(Gerald is a founding member of the Youth Foundation, an organization that helps children, which is particularly important to him. Gallegos sponsored a second Book Mobile that goes to Red Cliff and Leadville. He also sits on The Roundup River Ranch board, El Pomar and Vail Valley Foundations. He has also contributed to and helped numerous other smaller local charities).
The local construction industry has slowed to a crawl. What changes has the Gallegos Corporation made to weather the current slump? We have expanded our market area, focusing on regions that have not slowed to the extent we have seen in the resort areas. We have also expanded our masonry, stone, concrete and stucco services to include work in the government sector, an area we had previously not focused a lot of attention on. It has helped to keep us busy during these tough economic times.
After 40 years in business, what would you list as your biggest accomplishment?
There’s great pride in looking at projects that we built throughout the years. Projects I am especially proud of are the Arrabelle, Solaris, Vail’s Front Door, the Beaver Creek Hyatt and Beaver Creek Chapel in the Vail Valley, the Snowmass Base Village and Aspen Highlands Base Village in Aspen and the new Base Village at Northstar in Lake Tahoe, Calif.
What has you excited about the next five to 10 years?
Turning the company over to new leaders who have new ideas but still understand the commitment to quality craftsmanship and client service we have become renowned for.