Christina Rinderle is a local business owner, licensed Realtor, public servant and volunteer.
Her passion for the environment led her to pursue a degree in environmental science. After graduation, she worked with a team of researchers and biologists to create the first native plants nursery and nature preserve for the Colorado River Indian Tribes in Southern Arizona.
In 1999, she moved to Durango for a job opportunity with Ecosystem Management International, and was also working as a waitress at Carver Brewing Co., when she met developer Phil Bryson. He was working on renovating a 110-year-old building to create 64 offices and five shared meeting spaces on Main Avenue among existing restaurants and retail establishments.
Rinderle embraced his vision for creating a more vibrant downtown, using centrally located space and sustainable building practices. She became an office manager at the completed Durango Office Suites in 2001, and decided to help Bryson with his next project, Crossroads Durango. This included planning for construction of the four-story, mixed-use building.
“She was really great with people and details and managing,” Bryson said. “She was amazing at taking that vision and making it happen. It really was a game-changer.”
Rinderle took on project management for Bryson, which included scheduling meetings, completing contracts, sales and marketing and coordinating with the city to get the project approved.
“You have to reach a balance, between parking regulations, for example, and being able to do infill development and vibrant renovation,” Rinderle said. “It created this really neat synergy with downtown.”
After working with Bryson for nearly nine years, she was inspired to be more involved in the community. In 2008, friends encouraged her to run for the Durango City Council. She won, receiving the most votes in that election, which meant she would be mayor the following term.
“At the time, I was the youngest female to be elected to city council,” she said. “It was a such a neat experience.”
She served two terms, focusing on finding resolutions in the community. During her time in office, she invested in open space and helped people find common ground on contentious issues like cannabis businesses and vacation rentals. She also worked to have accessory dwelling units approved by the city.
“I’m such a firm believer in local government,” she said. “On a local level, I feel like your voice is heard and you can really effect change.”
In 2010, John Wells recruited Rinderle to work for him at The Wells Group. She earned her real estate license and began helping others find homes in Durango. In 2015, she left The Wells Group to run Durango Land and Homes with her life partner, Chris Bettin.
“This allowed me to branch out a little bit and continue working with people,” Rinderle said. “I felt great about being able to help people through that process. It’s not just about the transaction. It’s about helping a person get from one chapter of their life to the next.”
When Rinderle bought her first home in Hesperus in 2000, she said the process was overwhelming. So now, she works twice as hard to make the transition both fun and smooth for other homebuyers. She loves that each day is a challenge because each customer is different.
“I get to meet new people every day,” she said. “It’s not about connecting them with a property. It’s about connecting them with the community.”
Rinderle works to improve Durango through volunteering with the Boys & Girls Club of La Plata County, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Colorado and Trails 2000. She was a founding board member of the La Plata County Economic Development Alliance, and is the community chairwoman for KSUT Public Radio’s capital campaign. She also donates a percentage of each home sale to local charities and nonprofits, which is modeled after a program at The Wells Group.