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Front Page » October 17, 2006 » Scene » Focus on local business at Castle Valley Summit
Published 3,785 days ago

Focus on local business at Castle Valley Summit

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Caleen Wilcox speaks about the beginning of Turnquist Retreat.

Caleen Wilcox, Turnquist Retreat

Caleen Wilcox of Turnquist Retreat in Elmo spoke of the beginnings of her business. She urged everyone who dreams to have a business to be persistent. "At first we were turned down by all the local banks and economic aid organizations. We spent a lot of money and more than a year with the local lending places.

"Some of them even told us that if we would move out of Elmo, they would help us. That was not an option in my mind. We kept trying and after another year and securing private financing, we were on our way. It has been a roller coaster and a lot of hard work, but now, 10 years later we finally made a profit.

"Most financing places cannot bend the rules, but that doesn't mean you are off track. Be persistent. When it finally happens, train your employees, hire employees who care and love the business the way you do. Good luck, and don't let anyone tell you it can't be done," said Wilcox.

The Turnquist Retreat is an assisted living center. There are separate apartments for independent living. The retreat helps serve the needs of the elderly with love and dignity.

Lee Rasmussen speaks about Clear Sky Wireless.

Lee Rasmussen, Clear Sky Wireless

Sherman Dee Miller, owner and founder of Clear Sky Wireless, was represented by Lee Rasmussen. Rasmussen has a Master's degree in electrical engineering, he helps with financial backing, a business plan and developing and programming a customized billing and accounting package for Clear Sky Wireless. Miller received his Novel networking certificate by the time he graduated from high school and went on to get additional training up state.

Miller and Rasmussen worked together for Emery County in their computer department. "Miller married Katy Thomas who has taken technical training classes as Dee, but her aptitude is in business and internet usage while Dee's is more technical and hardware oriented," said Rasmussen.

The three of them have worked as a team to make the business work. Dee Miller came up with an idea that provided wireless internet with a minimal charge. The business receives an internet provider line from AT&T which than goes into a powerful central server. Rasmussen went on to say, "A central antennae then broadcasts and receives a wireless line-of-sight signal with a range of three to four miles to a client antennae, which costs $150. Those within a quarter mile of an antennae could possibly use a $50 computer plug-in. Within this three to four mile radius we can set up repeater antennae that look just like the main one. Each antenna would have the same 360 degree coverage range. A directional antennae can be used to talk to another directional antennae up to 27 miles away. That is how Castle Dale is being served from the Ferron internet link."

"We have not started aggressively advertising our product yet. I think that we will have to establish a track record of good reliable service as well as to prove that we will be around for the long haul, before we get the public in general to ask for our services. This is state of the art technology and upgrades and improvements are being implemented all of the time," said Rasmussen. The company is negotiating a Horn Mountain site that could reach all of the county towns. They are also looking into one in Price and possibly Salt Lake City.

Clear Sky Wireless offers free installation of equipment and computer hook-up and set up including e-mail accounts. Equipment prices range from $50-$200 depending on your location, which can be financed for as low as $5 a month. The charge for high speed internet is $14.95 a month plus tax or you can pay for one year for $150 plus tax, which would be $12.50 per month.Clear Sky Wireless may be reached at 435-820-2325.

Kerry Rozman speaks about Ruby Ranch.

Kerry Rozman, Ruby Ranch

Kerry Rozman, co-owner of Ruby Ranch near Green River, told summit goers how they got started at Ruby Ranch. "We started with nothing many years ago. We moved to Idaho and built a very successful dairy and processing plant. We were hauling milk all over several states. It became too much for us, and we missed being away from family, so we sold out and moved back to Utah.

"In Green River, we became owners of Ruby Ranch through a foreclosure. During the past 10 years, we have 600 acres now under irrigation with five pivots. We raise alfalfa now and we are looking at going into other crops. We are also looking into raising natural beef.

"On our way through we have been rejected by many lending institutions. But, we set a goal, did our homework, and weren't dissuaded. We knew the potential was there. Be persistent and work hard. You will need to do without things until you get things up and running.

"It's all worth it. Now, we are 32 miles from town with no electricity and no services. We have one cabin and a boat ramp, and are very happy with what we do," said Rozman.

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