DENVER — The owners of a container company have pivoted their business vision to survive the pandemic. The latest shift is helping boost the bottom line and helping local businesses expand.
Rox Box Containers was launched in 2018. CEO Anthony Halsch says they initially bought and sold new and used containers across the country, and when the pandemic hit, they felt the shift.
"There was a couple of weeks where we were unsure of what the future looked like," Halsch said.
The company began shaking things up as they heard of a growing need.
"We had a couple of restaurant owners reach out to us asking for a solution," Halsch said.
Rox Box now offers containers that meet Denver city guidelines for outdoor seating.
Block Distilling Company is among the first to jump at the opportunity to implement the containers to help shelter their customers. The owner, Kraig Weaver, says it's a reliable solution that will help protect clients. He says they tried using patio canopies, but he found himself chasing them when the wind picked up.
Weaver hopes local art and a solid shelter will attract more business.
"We are planning to have some mural artists in to work on the containers and decorate them," Weaver said.
The two 40-foot containers at the distillery cost around $30,000 and took about four hours to install. They can fit up to 30 people under current guidelines and that number will increase as restrictions are eased.
"It's super easy to put them together, also super easy to tear them down," Halsch said.
The containers come in multiple sizes and clients can add all the bells and whistles, including heating, electrical and a rooftop patio.
At the end of September, Denver extended the outdoor dining program through October 31, 2021. Weaver says they will keep the containers through the summer. He says if they're forced to remove the containers once the extension expires, one of the owners plans to convert them into a garage.
The containers are more than a standalone business or shelter. Rox Box recently teamed up with RK Mission Critical, TrenorHL, Martin/Martin and Cator Ruma to build off-site healthcare facilities out of the containers. Once they're upgraded, they can be used as ICU units and even store vaccines.
"We have an off-grid solar refrigerated and freezing container that can handle vaccine distribution," Halsch said.
He adds that the company has been in close contact with hospitals and health departments.
The direction of Rox Box is clear and so is their mission to help local businesses searching for an alternative.
"We will cut our margins to make sure we save some of these local businesses," Halsch said.