Passionate about music and an entrepreneur at heart, Chris Swank had years of experience as a small business owner of music venues and production companies in Colorado. After fulfilling a dream of living abroad in Argentina, Chris and his family settled back in Colorado and he was itching for his next venture. What came next was the perfect marriage of his love for music along with his appreciation for Latin culture: the opportunity to purchase The Stampede.
The Stampede, a 28,000 square foot restaurant and event venue, was established in 1992 and has long been an Aurora staple. The venue hosts everything from country line dancing and international live bands to sports events, quinceaneras, and Fiestas Patrias. Excited for the opportunity to purchase the business, Chris contacted his local bank, the Bank of Denver, to discuss viability. They knew that an SBA 504 loan would be the best way to handle this capital-intensive business and real estate purchase, and referred Chris to Colorado Lending Source.
Chris was able to purchase the real estate with the help of Colorado Lending Source and the Bank of Denver. Since then, he’s been able to make much-needed improvements on the aging building, transforming a worn-out venue into a vibrant place to work, dance, and celebrate community. More on Chris’ unique journey below...
What do you want other small business owners to know about working with Colorado Lending Source?
Working with Colorado Lending Source allowed me to leverage a large business purchase, which I never would have been able to do with a traditional bank loan program. I didn’t have experience with Small Business Administration funding or even a loan of this size, but they walked me through the entire process and were very helpful.
How does your business support the community in Aurora?
We are heavily involved with the community. We have hosted several Fiestas Patrias, which are similar to Independence days for different latin countries. The Aurora area has such a heavy immigrant community so we are perfectly situated and are happy to be engaged with those communities.
Why are you passionate about business ownership?
I am passionate about combining my personal interests with my business interests. I am a huge music fan, and that’s been the cornerstone of my businesses. The Stampede fits right in with that and combined my love for Latin culture with my background in music and programming.
What are you most excited about for the future of Stampede?
Denver and Aurora are growing rapidly, and the venue is perfectly suited to adapt to that growth. We host many events that are Spanish speaking and have started tailoring a lot of our programming to the Latin community. The community and business are growing by leaps and bounds. I am happy we positioned ourselves that way.