Don Rodriguez has turned a space on Boulder City Parkway that was once storage for pool supplies into a high-tech place for local musicians to rehearse and for podcasters to record. A second-generation musician, Rodriguez turned that interest, coupled with a background in construction, into a business after the Great Recession forced him into a temporary career change.
“I’ve been in Boulder City for 16 years and own a company called Superior Builders that specializes in luxury custom homes. But when the crash happened, business completely dried up and I was cleaning pools just to put food on the table,” he said.
Being an entrepreneurial spirit, he turned that into a business and eventually had three locations for BC Pool Supplies.
“I’ve had this space for about eight years and we used to use it to store pool supplies,” he said. “When we sold that business in 2019 and we had this empty space, my wife said, ‘Why don’t you move all of your music gear and put it there?’”
He initially set up a stage just as a place for his son and his friends to jam, but after an experience at a rehearsal studio in Las Vegas he changed course.
Noting that until one gets to the high-end professional level, rehearsal spaces in his experience tended to be in run-down and less desirable parts of town and the gear available was often limited, recalling the negative reaction from parents he talked to after a session at a busy rehearsal studio in an industrial area of Las Vegas.
“After a rehearsal session for a performance at my kids’ school, I saw the quality of what was available and realized we had an opportunity,” he explained.
Open to the public since mid-February, I and I Music has a large stage that is outfitted with drums, a variety of guitar and bass amplifiers as well as a digital piano, vocal microphones and a large sound system. With his construction background, Rodriguez was able to soundproof the space to the point where, even though it is located directly below a popular restaurant, there has yet to be a volume complaint.
In addition to rehearsal space, I and I offers a smaller, dedicated space for podcast and voice-over recording.
One of the first clients to use the space was the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce.
“We also have someone local with a popular YouTube channel dedicated to software tutorials who is planning to use that space to record the audio portion of his videos,” Rodriguez said.
Another unusual twist is that the space can be operated without an employee to run it.
“It’s like a membership,” he explained. “There is no charge to be a member but I need to interview anyone who wants to use the space in advance. Once they are cleared, they can book the room and pay for it online.” Patrons get a time-limited code that lets them into the room and then technology takes over.
“We have installed Ring cameras throughout the space. If anyone has questions or a problem they can text or even just face a camera and wave their arms. I’ll get a notification on my phone and can answer questions or walk them through any technical difficulties.”
Rodriguez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brothers launch antique store
Brothers Richard and Andrew Zvirzin relocated from Florida to Boulder City last year and recently opened Parkway Antiques at 1402-A Boulder City Parkway. While the parkway has no shortage of antique outlets, the siblings hope to offer something different with a specific focus on toys and dolls.
“Our parents were the ones who got this all started,” Richard Zvirzin explained. “They were collectors, gatherers, maybe hoarders who accumulated most of what you see here,” he said gesturing around the store.
When their parents died, the brothers decided to relocate to Nevada, initially intending to move to Las Vegas.
“We had been here before but not for decades and before our plane even touched the ground we knew that Las Vegas had gotten too big and too noisy and too crowded for us,” Richard Zvirzin said.
Andrew Zvirzin added that friends told them they should try Boulder City.
“As soon as we drove over that mountain, we knew this was the place,” he said.
The brothers profess a love of “wheeling and dealing” and say their business is all about matching the right piece at the right price to the right customer.
“We have had someone from another local shop come in and look around and tell us that our prices are too low. But our idea is that we don’t want to hold on to things forever,” said Richard Zvirzin. “We would rather price things at a point where customers feel they are getting a great deal.”
In addition to buying and selling antiques of all types, they offer repair services for dolls and doll houses. “Everything from restringing to total rebuilds,” Andrew Zvirzin said.
They also offer estate sale services and a 15 percent discount to seniors.
New machines installed at laundromat
A laundromat may seem like an odd business choice for partners who come from the worlds of real estate development and car repair but for Sam Gladstein and Terry Buis, it was all about the timing.
“I had just sold my repair shop and got a call from Sam asking if I wanted to partner up and buy the laundromat,” Buis said.
The two are longtime friends who share a background in the entertainment business, Buis as a touring rock guitar player and then as an underwater stagehand for the Cirque show “O” and Gladstein as a recording engineer who has worked at the Hit Factory in New York City with acts ranging from Joe Cocker to Madonna.
They bought the existing laundromat at 1406 Boulder City Parkway in July and initially kept it open for about a month.
“Then we shut down for about three months and gutted the place,” Gladstein said.
They spent that time replacing everything from plumbing to venting and then installed all brand-new, high-quality washers and dryers. In early February, they expanded into the neighboring space in the shopping center putting up a service counter where a wall used to be and offering bulk laundry fluff-and-fold services as well as dry cleaning.
Bulk services are available for $2.25 per pound with a 15-pound minimum. Dry cleaning is transported to a facility in Henderson and then returned to Boulder City for pick-up.
Rare Rock Shop closes
The Rare Rock Shop at 733 Nevada Way has closed.
Owner Paul Hanks said closing the store was not an easy decision.
“We hated to go,” he said. “We did well and we love Boulder City.”
Hanks said the store has moved its inventory to its Utah location and has plans to expand. The store is in La Verkin, near Zion.
Hanks said trying to manage two locations and find good employees was difficult and prompted him to close the store that opened in November 2021.
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