The idea came to Will Russ when he was climbing Lizard’s Mouth off Highway 154.
There wasn’t a climbing gym where locals could meet and get to know each other. So the Brooks Institute graduate decided to put down his camera and write up a business plan.
“I was blown away in my research,” Russ said. “I originally thought about 4 percent of the Santa Barbara population is interested in climbing or actively climbing, but I learned it was closer to 20 percent. It’s a really good fit here on State Street, and I couldn’t believe there wasn’t one here already.”
State Street Boxing Club replaced a tattoo parlor next door at 320 State St.
Santa Barbara Rock Gym will offer group events, summer camp programs, children’s classes, beginner through advanced courses and climbing teams. The Lower State Street venue was one of two buildings in town that had the necessary features like high ceilings, Russ said.
“One of the coolest parts about it is to see the climbing community come together and develop relationships,” he said.
As Russ gave me a tour of the gym, he pointed out the different routes, described one wall that had a natural outdoor feel and told me about traveling the world through the perspective of his camera lens. This is his first business; so far it has nearly added up to a $1 million venture.
Alma del Pueblo
As Build Group construction crews continue to work on the new mixed-use project on the corner of Chapala and Victoria streets, Urban Developments is putting the finishing touches on its sales office next to the Arlington Theatre at 1321 State St.
Alma del Pueblo will include 39,000 square feet of residential space at 18 W. Victoria St., with 37 units on the second and third floors, and 27,000 square feet of commercial space, 19,500 of which will house a public market.
As I biked by the sales office Thursday, it looked as if it was almost finished. About seven people walked around the inside of the new building that still had covered windows. Marge Cafarelli of Urban Developments told me that the company is planning to open the 2,500-square-foot sales office this week, and will begin filling the units. There are about 300 people signed up for the 37 available units, she said.
Mind Your Manners
Parents Staci Silva and Buffy Lee Porter recently started an etiquette program at 1469 East Valley Road in Montecito.
Goodness Graces offers a variety of classes geared toward children and teens, focused on table manners, introductions, sportsmanship, conversation skills and confidence building.
“If your children cannot communicate effectively and behave appropriately in a variety of situations, they will struggle to excel, regardless of how smart they are,” Lee Porter said.
One of the presenting exhibitors was Chia/Vie, the first natural ground chia smoothie line. It’s a blend of ground chia and 75 percent to 83 percent juice, and was founded by Camille and Mark Reith.
SBCC student Justin Connell showcased his Garden on Wheelz, an elevated mobile garden that caters to people who can’t bend or don’t have much space. At 38 inches tall, the wooden garden features a sealed bed and draining system that recycles water, help keep pests out, maximizes space and houses a tool rack.
Robert Rutherford’s Hive Lighting designs, manufactures and sells energy-efficient plasma light fixtures to the film, TV and digital production industries. Hive’s lights are less expensive, brighter, emit better quality light, run cooler, last longer and do not require heavy and expensive support equipment.
In the Clouds
CIO Solutions debuted a new private cloud infrastructure that caters to Santa Barbara-based businesses and applications.
Cloud computing is divided into three groups: software as a service, infrastructure as a service and platform as a service.
SaaS refers to applications such as Gmail, GoToMeeting and Salesforce that are accessed through a web browser. IaaS is attaching, controlling and managing the computing, storage and networking resources on the server level. PaaS is when someone points to a code like Java and everything around the server, storage and networking layer is automatically taken care of.
These groups can be hosted on public clouds like Amazon Web Services, private clouds that offer better security or efficiency or a mixture of the two. Mark Lawrence of Strategic Incentives said the CIO private cloud is scalable and secure.
“It gives us the freedom to be anywhere at anytime, and continue to maintain all of our business objectives in a way that does not compromise customer service or efficiency,” he said.