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Young entrepreneur painting Vail Valley houses this summer

Scott N. Miller
Vail, CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyCharles Gladitsch, a 2009 graduate of Battle Mountain High School, is running a house-painting business this summer.
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Charles Gladitsch ran a few small businesses when he was a Vail Valley high school student. Now he’s aiming a little higher.

Gladitsch, a 2009 Battle Mountain High School graduate, just finished his first year at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He’s spending this summer back at his parents’ place in the valley. But instead of dog-sitting or mowing lawns this year, Gladitsch is running a house-painting company.

The company isn’t just one guy with an old pickup and a ladder, either. Gladitsch is working with College Works Painting, a national firm that claims to be the country’s largest house-painting company. The company hires and trains students to manage their own painting companies. The company handles workers comp and liability insurance and trains and certifies painters. Local managers handle everything else, particularly lining up business.



“I’ve always been interested in starting my own business, and not letting anyone else tell me what to do,” Gladitsch said.

He started young, participating in the Future Business Leaders of America organization at Battle Mountain. He’s also studying business and environmental science at CU.



Nancy Lindbloom was one of Gladitsch’s high school teachers, and wasn’t surprised to hear that he’s trying his hand at a new business this summer.

“He’s a hard worker,” Lindbloom said. “He has an outstanding work ethic and he’s really personable. I think he’ll do well.”

Gladitsch started building his summer business on weekend trips home over the spring, marketing his services the old-fashioned way – going door to door. It also helps that he and his family have lived in the valley for several years.



The dad connection helped Gladitsch land one of his first clients, Glenn and Rebecca Davis. But Rebecca Davis said she’s been impressed in her meetings with her house painter.

“He’s not like the cable guy – he shows up when he says he will,” Davis said. “He’ll come by, get things done – he’s in and out.”

While the painting hasn’t started at the Davis home yet, Gladitsch has made a good enough impression that he’s landed a bit of extra work.

“We were going to put off the decks for another year, but we decided to go ahead with it,” Davis said.

While Gladitsch is new to the house-painting business – as are most of College Works’ student manager – he believes he knows how to succeed.

“I have a real commitment to communicating with customers and offering quality service at a great price,” Gladitsch said. “We’ll probably paint 25 homes this summer, so there’s going to be plenty of time to communicate.”

And, while Gladitsch has enough summer work lined up for one crew of painters, he’s already planning to put another crew on the job. All he needs to do now is round up work for them.

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or smiller@vaildaily.com.


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