R Space, a new co-working space in town, aims to serve nontraditional workers and meet a demand for private rooms for meetings.
Kirk Komick and Diane Wildfang, owners of the Rochester Hotel, are opening the co-working space next to their historic hotel, to serve, in part, the needs of their corporate guests, co-operator Tomas German-Palacios said.
German-Palacios also expects the space will appeal to people in La Plata County who work from home and need a private space aside from their residence to meet with clients.
It is meant to be a collaborative space and boost productivity by offering a venue for people with different skill sets to share information, he said.
“The culture around co-working is not coveting information. It’s sharing information,” he said.
Those who buy an R Space membership will also be invited to join a Slack channel, an online social community, so they can continue to communicate with fellow members when they are not in the building.
R Space, formerly home to Durango Music and Electronics, was designed to be warm and inviting. It’s a far cry from cubicles under florescent light, which was intentional, German-Palacios said.
“When you are psychologically comfortable, ideas flow and innovation occurs,” he said.
The Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs has outgrown its old space at 1211 Main and expects to house companies participating in its program at R Space, Executive Director Elizabeth Marsh said.
“R Space has done a great job automating the facility for the co-workers. It is really cutting-edge with the access control, membership platform for reserving meeting space, and very fast fiber internet,” she said.
Co-working spaces are growing in popularity across the United States and appeal to larger companies, not just start-ups or the self-employed, German-Palacios said.
Durango Space, at 1221 Main Ave., an established co-working space, is planning to expand in downtown during 2018 because its flexible, private work space is in high demand, said co-owner Jasper Welch.
Workers are looking for flexible space that doesn’t require a lease and provides access to professional meeting space, and some people are also looking for camaraderie because working at home can be lonely, he said. Durango Space also uses a membership model, and in addition to an open area, it has eight private spaces that are always full. The business plans to offer more private rooms when it expands.
Welch is excited about R Space because it’s unique and that’s the mark of many successful co-working spaces, he said. “It’s a not a cookie-cutter thing ... co-working spaces tend to have unique flavors and characteristics,” he said.
R Space can provide work space for between 40 to 50 people at any one time, and members will also be welcome to use the Rochester Hotel’s Secret Garden in the summer, German-Palacios said. R Space offers a large conference room that can seat 25 people, a smaller room that can seat eight to 10 people and a lounge space that could seat six. The space also offers three private rooms.
German-Palacios expects to continue improving the space by equipping a room for podcasting and a room for webcasting. The webcasting room will have a video camera, lapel microphone and teleprompter.
R Space has begun scheduling meeting space and expects to start selling memberships after the soft opening on Nov. 1. Members can buy different levels of access, ranging from five times a month to 24/7 access. Visitors can also pay for a single day, but that is the most expensive rate, he said.
Eventually, members and nonmembers will be able to reserve space through an online calendar.
Currently, reservations for meeting space can be made by calling 422-1285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The website for the co-working space is under construction, but more information will be available soon at rspacedurango.com