Proximity of resorts, convenience lights up Christmas decorating biz

The Christmas decorating business is lighting up, despite tough economic times, with another holiday lighting service joining the area business scene.

Rick Silverberg, formerly a decorator for Christmas Decor by Grow Green LLC in Grand Junction, is opening a franchise of Christmas Decor to cover the territory of Delta, Montrose, San Miguel and Ouray counties.

“Colorado is a big state for Christmas decorating,” Silverberg said. “Nearly every county that has a resort in it has got a Christmas Decor franchise. There’s a lot of opportunity, particularly in Telluride.”

He joins local companies including Liqui-green Lawn Care Corp., Guaranteed Christmas and Malibu Pool-N-Patio, among others, providing Christmas decorating services.

Silverberg also started early, with his most recent job done for new Cedaredge restaurant Red’s Tapas & Bar, a Spanish and Mediterranean restaurant at 825 S. Grand Mesa Drive.

“I have a lot of Christmas parties planned, and they start next week, even before the holidays technically, so it was important to get it done early,” said Janet Starr, Red’s owner and chef.

Silverberg said his charges average from $1,250 to $1,500 for commercial jobs and $750 to $1,200 for residential Christmas decorating. The installations for residential decorating start at $250.

How did Starr justify the cost of turning to someone else for her Christmas decorations?

“We had renovated this building over the last year, and it’s a real high-end looking building,” she said. “It was really important to do a quality job, so it didn’t look like a neon light on the side of the highway.”

She also didn’t want the damage of nail guns and staples, which often comes with a self-done job, she said. Silverberg used several attachment materials that did not damage the property, she said.

So, Red’s finds itself adorned in garland with red ribbons, pine cones, red Christmas balls and white lights. She said Silverberg took extra care to make the outside lights an experience for the people within the restaurant, and he put a wreath on the A-pitched roof.

Silverberg has done Christmas decorating that runs the range of $250 to $10,000, the high-end job being Gateway Canyons last year, when he worked for the Grand Junction franchise of Christmas Decor.

Christmas decorating business owners say the reason their businesses continue to thrive is due in large part to ski-resort-area demand and people wanting convenience.

“We doubled our business this year,” said Ed Schlagel, owner of Liqui-green in Grand Junction, which has done holiday decorating for seven years between Grand Junction and Aspen. He began doing Christmas installations Nov. 3. He said 75 percent of his jobs are residential, and 25 percent
are commercial.

“It’s an inconvenience for people to be standing on ladders,” he said. “It could be getting cold out.

They’re paying for a service and a convenience.”

His installations start at $250 and go up to $5,000. He said his average installation is $300 to $750.

How, with the costs of electricity generally on the rise, can people justify the cost of running Christmas lights?

A lot of the decorating services, including the Christmas Decor service, have gone to light emitting diode (LED) lighting, instead of incandescent lighting. LED lighting cuts power consumption by 90 percent and gives an 80 percent savings on an electricity bill, Silverberg said.


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