Kooler Lifestyle Podcast 5 – Scott Fairbanks in Grand Junction

00:00:00:19 – 00:00:21:23
Matt Keuhlhorn
Hello, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Kooler Lifestyle Podcast. I’m your host, Matt Keuhlhorn, and I’m excited to have you join me as I interview community members and business leaders from the communities in which I live, work and serve. Through my business cooler garage doors, we’re going to bring you highlights and characters in our communities. Why? Because community matters.

00:00:22:02 – 00:00:47:00
Matt Keuhlhorn
And I want to know more about who is behind our business and leadership in order to understand and support the community fabric that are relationships make up. Join me twice a month as we dove into getting to know each other better and collectively we can build stronger communities that support our lifestyles. Our youth and our health. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Matthew Keuhlhorn with the Kooler Lifestyle Podcast.

00:00:47:10 – 00:01:03:22
Matt Keuhlhorn
I have in my presence the honor of talking with Scott Fairbanks, who is the Grand Junction Lifestyle magazine owner that’s part of the city lifestyle publishing company. And he also owns Elevate Promotions. Scott, how are you today?

00:01:04:11 – 00:01:16:03
Scott Fairbanks
I’m doing great. This is a unique opportunity. I’m looking forward to talking with you. I know we work together a little bit, but this is great to have some 1 to 1. Just have a chat.

00:01:16:23 – 00:01:39:12
Matt Keuhlhorn
It’s great. Yeah, I’m really excited to, you know, we’ve gotten to know each other just a smidge through our through our networking group. And I’ve certainly engaged with you and city lifestyle for the Grand Junction area, and I think the publication is really well done. So, you know, in these conversations, I like to go into the background a little bit.

00:01:40:01 – 00:01:41:07
Matt Keuhlhorn
Where did you grow up, Scott?

00:01:42:02 – 00:02:09:13
Scott Fairbanks
Two counties west from Grand Junction. Emery County, Utah, was a coal mining and farming community. It’s it’s now pretty much just farming and people getting by. Coal mining industry is almost gone entirely. They went from over over 15 mines in the county when I was in high school to I think there are two operating mines now.

00:02:10:04 – 00:02:10:20
Matt Keuhlhorn
Wow.

00:02:12:04 – 00:02:42:15
Scott Fairbanks
That’s significant. And it’s it’s been interesting to watch. Coal just in general has been crushed by federal regulations. This the western coal and you up there in Gunnison, you probably remember operating coal mines within the county or the adjacent county. All the Western stuff. Yeah. But it’s really super high quality, extremely low pollution, coal compared to what’s in the East.

00:02:43:12 – 00:02:58:06
Scott Fairbanks
Are are hard anthracite coal compared to by 2 minutes. Coal is so much better for BTU per ton and all that stuff. But we don’t need to get into the science.

00:02:58:06 – 00:02:59:06
Matt Keuhlhorn
It’s, it’s that’s a.

00:02:59:13 – 00:03:04:12
Scott Fairbanks
Fantasy that what was the economic lifeblood of my hometown is pretty much.

00:03:04:12 – 00:03:14:13
Matt Keuhlhorn
Abandoned. That’s a significant, significant shift. So two counties West, you mentioned Utah. What are the towns over there?

00:03:14:22 – 00:03:35:01
Scott Fairbanks
Okay. So Grand County is is right against the Colorado state line. And that’s where MOAB is, the town of Green River, Utah. The Green River flows through it and that’s the county line between Grand and Emery County. Okay. So Emery County, where I grew up, have you ever seen Space Jam, the movie?

00:03:35:14 – 00:03:35:24
Matt Keuhlhorn
Yeah.

00:03:36:16 – 00:03:48:09
Scott Fairbanks
The really tall, skinny guy. Sean Bradley was a school mate of mine. He was a year ahead of me. But by the time he graduated high school, he was seven foot five.

00:03:49:04 – 00:03:50:06
Matt Keuhlhorn
On the charge.

00:03:51:19 – 00:04:22:06
Scott Fairbanks
So a few years before that, we had a pro athlete come out of our hometown, out of our high school, who was a lineman for the Phenix Cardinals until he retired named Craig Patterson. So we’ve had a few pro athletes. Let me go way back history, history wise, do you remember ever seeing the Ten Commandments movie that used to run on Easter weekend a long time ago on one of the big networks?

00:04:23:04 – 00:04:47:20
Scott Fairbanks
Charlton Heston was who played Moses. And there’s a scene where he’s on the mountain and God is giving him the Ten Commandments. He’s written it in the stone. And then Moses carries that down off the mountain. And the voice of God is this old rugby, super low bass voice. It’s a whole lot deeper than the lowest I can go on purpose.

00:04:48:03 – 00:04:53:15
Scott Fairbanks
That man did. Lost Jukes is also from Orangeville, Utah. My bell.

00:04:55:02 – 00:04:55:20
Matt Keuhlhorn
About that.

00:04:57:09 – 00:05:01:11
Scott Fairbanks
So the world renowned ultra contrabass.

00:05:02:09 – 00:05:03:03
Matt Keuhlhorn
Yeah. Yeah.

00:05:03:11 – 00:05:05:04
Scott Fairbanks
You can help music as a hobby.

00:05:07:00 – 00:05:11:04
Matt Keuhlhorn
When did you when did you migrate over to Grand Junction? I in that time.

00:05:11:16 – 00:05:36:07
Scott Fairbanks
In 94, I was working as a A-frame hand, building houses for the family that my mom’s best friend from college was her husband running the building company and I. This has been home ever since.

00:05:37:14 – 00:06:04:12
Matt Keuhlhorn
Yeah. So I love asking this question especially of folks that have, you know, certainly been entrenched for a long time. And I’ve been up in Gunnison. I came out here in 97. So over the last 20 plus years, like, we spend time in the place that, you know, is our home and we just have all these threads and, you know, relationships ties to not just people, but the ground and other community aspects.

00:06:04:23 – 00:06:10:05
Matt Keuhlhorn
What do you love about the Grand Junction area and about being part of this community?

00:06:11:18 – 00:06:52:10
Scott Fairbanks
Well, for myself, I really love the variety of activities available because we have everything from desert conditions, low altitude, very arid to high alpine up on the Grand Mesa and up on the park within the county, within less than an hour, you can be flowing the Colorado River. Get out, hop in your car. And less than an hour you’re at 11,000 feet on top of the Grand Mesa and everything in between.

00:06:53:04 – 00:07:20:06
Scott Fairbanks
Yeah, yeah. For the recreational opportunities. I really enjoy that. Culturally, this city has developed a long way since I came here in 94. I believe the the art center has been going for, I think, over 20 years, maybe longer. We now have a number of galleries on Main Street. We’ve had a number of different theater companies here to do live stage productions.

00:07:20:22 – 00:07:53:18
Scott Fairbanks
I’ve actually had the privilege of participating in some of those. I do sing. I play some brass instruments as well, not nearly as well as I used to because I haven’t done it a lot in recent years. But I really enjoy the the community feel the way that our community pulls together when there’s something important, there’s always that opposition, that potential contention when it comes to especially right now during campaign season.

00:07:54:12 – 00:08:19:13
Scott Fairbanks
And I’m really grateful that a week down there, a few days down the road, not even a week now, all the ads will be gone. All the campaign backbiting and attack ads will be over with. It doesn’t matter which side’s talking, what they’re talk, what they’re talking about when they’re trying to slam an opponent, it’s taken out of context like almost always.

00:08:19:13 – 00:08:49:05
Scott Fairbanks
So I’m grateful to to see that kind of thing. And one example of seeing this community really pull together is we have prominent people on both sides of the aisle who came together to accomplish something that the community knew needed to be done for up to 15 years. Grand Junction High School is something like approaching 70 years old.

00:08:49:19 – 00:09:20:17
Scott Fairbanks
It’s falling down around their ears. They have problem with pest control that they just can’t get a handle on with mice in the wintertime in particular, and structural and mechanical issues that make it nearly unusable. But they simply have to keep on going because there’s nowhere else for those classes to go. And two years ago, there was a campaign following up on a failed campaign.

00:09:20:17 – 00:09:48:02
Scott Fairbanks
Previously, there was an effort to get Mesa County to back the building of a new school, but it was a blank check and the citizens here said, there’s no way we’re doing that. If you’re going to set a budget and build a school, then when the job is done, that tax goes away. The way that it was written, it was a perpetual thing.

00:09:48:02 – 00:10:19:10
Scott Fairbanks
So we had Tim Foster, who used to be the president of the university here, Colorado Mesa, and we had Sally Shafer, not Sally draw a blank on her first name, but the lady who owns Bonsai Design, which is a global zip line company, they go in and engineer these zip lines and then install them. And they recently put one in at Los Colonias Park.

00:10:19:10 – 00:10:45:23
Scott Fairbanks
That’s a city facility. Anyway, she’s a prominent Democrat. Tim Foster is a prominent Republican. But they came together and said, we’ve got to stop fighting about this and just get it done. So what does the community want? We want a new cutting edge up to up to par technology, high school. We need a better high school because the one we have is falling apart.

00:10:47:22 – 00:11:18:00
Scott Fairbanks
Our community is willing to back that if they know that there’s an end to that additional taxation. Right, they’re not willing to back it. Clearly, they shot it down so substantially before, but they won’t back it if it’s a perpetual thing. Yeah, but they came together. They listened to what the community said and got it approved with with those, with those things that the community said.

00:11:18:00 – 00:11:50:01
Scott Fairbanks
This is how it has to happen. If we’re going to do it. Yeah. So it was really a pleasure to see our community pull together for something that important. Yeah. And do it in a way that the citizens here are alert enough and aware of what’s necessary and what’s not. And they said for a specific purpose, we will allow you to take a little more property tax on our homes or this period of time.

00:11:50:17 – 00:12:16:11
Matt Keuhlhorn
Not long. Yeah, that is a beautiful part about the community. And and, you know, as I entrench myself more and more and into Grand Junction community and being up in Gunnison, I’ve been close, but, you know, there’s always a little outsider ness until like really getting in. And what I’ve really enjoyed and this is through the chamber and through other interactions throughout the community, is just that cohesiveness.

00:12:16:22 – 00:12:44:07
Matt Keuhlhorn
You know, while it’s a much, much larger town than our little 5000 town population, it’s still very small town. It still is about people, relationships, and nobody’s going to get away from that. And it is coming together. And one of the stories I heard from Candace, the CEO now for the chamber, was, you know, how everybody came together through COVID and the challenges over the last few years.

00:12:44:07 – 00:12:51:15
Matt Keuhlhorn
And yeah, you know, I just see that as it is a huge highlight for for the area for the community. It’s beautiful.

00:12:52:24 – 00:12:56:16
Scott Fairbanks
Yes.

00:12:56:16 – 00:13:03:06
Matt Keuhlhorn
The Grand Junction Lifestyle magazine. How did you get involved with that?

00:13:03:06 – 00:13:50:14
Scott Fairbanks
The long and short is after a two year period of working out of state while my wife was going through cancer treatment, I had I just had a strong feeling. I referred to it as a prompting, but I feel like there were greater forces at work than just myself and the business things. I just have a strong feeling that it was time to be home, something was going to change, and that after looking into this carefully for a couple of weeks, that it was the right time when the right thing to do, the right move to get me back home instead of working up to 9 hours from home when I couldn’t get back, if

00:13:50:14 – 00:14:39:09
Scott Fairbanks
I was needed quickly. And the project that I was working on in Wyoming, I turned in a report, I had a conversation with my wife about the magazine opportunity and what that would require of us. And she said, If we’ve got these specific things in place, then yeah, go for it. I called Lifestyle Publications, told them I was in and when I called to verify that the report had arrived at my employer’s office, they said, okay, we appreciate it.

00:14:40:08 – 00:15:09:23
Scott Fairbanks
That’s the end. Same day that company that I was working for doing title examination work in Wyoming, she said that project over and I felt like you should have given me some kind of head’s up that it was coming to an end. But to have that not even one day gap between full time employment activities felt very much like this supposed to happen.

00:15:10:14 – 00:15:12:00
Matt Keuhlhorn
Yeah, that’s beautiful.

00:15:12:09 – 00:15:39:12
Scott Fairbanks
And it has felt all along like a great opportunity. And when you and I were talking about having cooler garage doors in the magazine, you’ve probably heard me say this because I tried to use it in every one of those conversations, but it’s it’s felt like a great opportunity to do things for and with my friends and neighbors for nearly 30 years and to make a lot more of both along the way.

00:15:40:06 – 00:15:43:03
Matt Keuhlhorn
Yeah, yeah. It’s awesome.

00:15:43:03 – 00:16:06:18
Scott Fairbanks
So the opportunities to be involved with chamber activities, the other volunteer activities that I do or have done all have led to this really feeling like home. Like I have a deep connection here that it’s every bit as much home as where I grew up.

00:16:07:13 – 00:16:12:16
Matt Keuhlhorn
Yeah, yeah. Beautiful. Well, it’s a beautiful publication.

00:16:12:16 – 00:16:13:02
Scott Fairbanks
Thank you.

00:16:15:18 – 00:16:23:13
Matt Keuhlhorn
And Elevate Promotions, part of a marketing side is this relatively new. Where’s this going for you?

00:16:24:03 – 00:16:58:08
Scott Fairbanks
Well, it’s new as far as actually having a formal business structure. We we registered the company with the state of Colorado back in January this year. I personally have been involved in marketing for more than 25 years with everything that I’ve done, every employer, every freelance or self-employed thing that I have done, I’ve had others that will approach me and say, What do you think about presenting the message this way?

00:16:59:20 – 00:17:28:07
Scott Fairbanks
And it’s something that I kind of have a natural talent for fine tuning a message. Yeah, I get a little bit annoyed when I see something put out for public view that has typos, and I just feel like, come on, that’s not really professional enough. And so if I catch a typo that I hit, send on an email, for example, I go, Come on, really?

00:17:28:07 – 00:17:59:13
Scott Fairbanks
So Elevate Promotions is a full service marketing agency where we’re going to be a single point of contact for a business that previously has had as many as ten or 15 different marketing reps with all of the different outlets radio, TV, billboards, social media. There are three different radio groups just here in Grand Junction. There are two different television groups here in Grand Junction, plus the cable company, which is Spectrum.

00:17:59:24 – 00:18:30:15
Scott Fairbanks
And there’s a whole wide range of things offered through spectrum. We have partnerships with those outlets so that we can strategize. We can talk about branding and messaging with a potential client or an existing client, and then coordinate what needs to happen with an appropriate branding mix and messaging mix. But they don’t have to juggle conversations among a dozen different reps.

00:18:31:13 – 00:18:35:13
Matt Keuhlhorn
Yeah. Yeah. Sufficient.

00:18:35:13 – 00:19:01:09
Scott Fairbanks
We’ve been able to structure those partnerships in a way that doesn’t cut out the local rep. They still get credit for managing that account, but they don’t have to do the boots on the ground work. And the the client doesn’t have that burden of a whole bunch of different reps. The internal rep handle the traffic side of it and we’ll handle the strategy and messaging side.

00:19:02:04 – 00:19:33:18
Matt Keuhlhorn
Yeah, I love it. I have to say, you know, and I want to acknowledge you, Scott, and this isn’t just a fluff things, but, you know, I love people and I love getting to know people’s essence. And so I watched you over the last couple of months. You brought together a really cool presentation and our leads group and the essence that I get from you is that you’re a wonderful and you love you have a passion for telling story, which is so much of marketing, right?

00:19:33:18 – 00:19:46:07
Matt Keuhlhorn
Telling somebody’s brand story and helping to integrate that, I think is a really powerful skill set. And certainly a strong value to add into a community. Thank you.

00:19:47:06 – 00:20:13:06
Scott Fairbanks
That is one of the things that I enjoy most about it. I’ve always kind of been a storyteller. I remember times as a kid at least I had huge family reunions. I have over 41st cousins on both sides. My mom and dad both grew up in families with nine kids, both on both on dairy farms and frankly, how are you going to feed a crew that size.

00:20:13:20 – 00:20:14:02
Matt Keuhlhorn
Yet.

00:20:14:13 – 00:20:50:23
Scott Fairbanks
Unless you’ve got something like that? But I remember at times just sitting around a campfire, I had uncles that would memorize these long poems like Casey at the back. I don’t know if you heard that one, but that’s fantastic. There’s one called The Cremation of Sam McGee. That’s a long, great campfire. Almost ghostly story. Yeah. And so I remember sitting around the campfire, having uncles that had these stories memorized, and so they would tell them by firelight and perfect atmosphere for that kind of story.

00:20:52:05 – 00:21:20:05
Scott Fairbanks
And at one particular reunion, I think I was 11 or 12, and I just started into a story. I was making it up as I went, but I went on for about 15 minutes and it was literally it was a whole bunch of nonsense and I wish that if we could turn back the clock and have somebody record it on their smartphone so that I could recapture the words from just making up that story off the cuff.

00:21:21:16 – 00:21:49:08
Scott Fairbanks
But when it comes to branding, messaging and story branding, using the stories of what people really enjoy about what they do, what what their passions are for providing the products and services that they offer. That’s something I really do enjoy about this because it gives me an opportunity to connect at a deeper level than just, Hey, we can help you advertise, here’s some ad space in a magazine.

00:21:49:08 – 00:21:52:07
Scott Fairbanks
Here’s radio and TV time blocks how it works for you.

00:21:53:00 – 00:21:54:12
Matt Keuhlhorn
Right? Right. Yeah.

00:21:54:12 – 00:22:04:06
Scott Fairbanks
We really try to dig into the the messaging, but more importantly, the passion behind the message.

00:22:05:04 – 00:22:35:12
Matt Keuhlhorn
Yeah, so good. I mean, that’s where the authenticity is, right? It’s not just a transaction. There’s human to human connections behind any style of business, any brand. And I love that you help bring that forth. It’s great. What are you excited? What are you excited for? Looking out over the next few years? You know, we’ve been through years of challenge and maybe we have some more different challenges coming at us.

00:22:35:12 – 00:22:43:19
Matt Keuhlhorn
And yet there’s so many opportunities. What’s what Scott looking at and getting excited about.

00:22:43:19 – 00:23:20:00
Scott Fairbanks
I’m seeing new opportunities coming my way to take the accumulation of experiences over the last 30 years or so. And if you followed other business and personal development speakers and authors such as Anthony Robbins, several of them use something similar to this phrase where they say there are messages within the message you’ve been through that can really benefit the lives of other people.

00:23:20:17 – 00:23:21:06
Matt Keuhlhorn
It’s right.

00:23:21:15 – 00:24:20:10
Scott Fairbanks
If you’re not afraid to let people see the real you that has grown from those experiences and so many people use the word vulnerable. I think there’s a really negative connotation to that. I prefer the word courage instead of vulnerable, that kind of feeling of weak and exposed. We’re courageous enough to just be authentic. Yeah, and there are opportunities coming my way or digging deep personally, finding what those messages are, and then providing something of genuine value to people that I may never meet in person, but the validation of those messages will be when people participate in content that I’m creating.

00:24:21:09 – 00:24:25:04
Matt Keuhlhorn
And such as Solid.

00:24:25:05 – 00:25:13:08
Scott Fairbanks
That’s something I’m really excited about. That’s, that’s starting to come together along with what we can do locally with Elevate Magazine, placement is actually something that’s incorporated with Elevate Service so that we have included in that marketing mix, that value of touch, because it is a hard copy, the value of the highest retention and highest quality impression that can be made for local products and services, which is part of why we’re very targeted towards top notch providers within each industry you’re on.

00:25:13:13 – 00:25:41:18
Matt Keuhlhorn
I want to emphasize a piece that I just heard you say. And, you know, when you’re talking about courage, authenticity, you know, you mentioned Anthony Robbins, the guy that I’ve studied and learned from as well. I’m probably going to butcher this quote, but I think it’s so pertinent. And Joe Polish, another great marketer, I got to see him on stage a number of weeks ago and he mentioned something I’m just going to paraphrase is kind of Kurdish.

00:25:42:18 – 00:26:16:00
Matt Keuhlhorn
But he was speaking about courage and, you know, everybody’s going to face fear that’s more than human connections. And it could cause us all to wet our pants per say. And courage is having the ability to go and act with wet pants, kind of like feel the fear and move into it regardless. I’ll have to dig up that cord again because it was so good when I heard, I was like, Oh, that’s exactly it.

00:26:17:01 – 00:26:34:01
Matt Keuhlhorn
We can’t ignore fear. Like, this is part of the human experience, but the courage is acting in that authentic city regardless, right? Yeah. Scott, how can people reach out to you? How can people connect with you?

00:26:34:01 – 00:27:16:13
Scott Fairbanks
The best way for the magazine is Scott Fairbanks at City Lifestyle dot com for Elevate Promotions. If somebody is already investing quite a bit in their marketing, but they want to take a look at consolidating some things and having a single point of contact for that. Strategy. Messaging and branding elevate agency JJ at gmail.com Monson is is active and ready to communicate and within the next week or so we will have elevate agency GJ dot com live or the agency as well very cool.

00:27:17:01 – 00:27:30:22
Matt Keuhlhorn
We’ll be sure to add those components in the in the show notes and that way people can find you easily. God, I know you and I could probably share stories for hours. This has been really fun. Thank you so much for your time today.

00:27:30:22 – 00:27:39:17
Scott Fairbanks
The interesting too to connect on other things in common, including the two who knew.

00:27:40:10 – 00:27:45:18
Matt Keuhlhorn
Yeah, well, enjoy the rest of your day, Scott, and we will talk to you very soon.

00:27:46:00 – 00:27:46:19
Scott Fairbanks
Thanks a lot, Matt.

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