Alpenglobe: A Paradox of Pandemic Success
PARK CITY, Utah. —Just as Covid-19 upended the economy in Park City, Alpenglobe, in partnership with Insight Exhibits, launched its successful start. These private dining shelters couldn’t have come at a better time for restaurants looking for unique ways to stay afloat through the pandemic.
“[Alpenglobe] was already in progress. When the shutdown and the initial panic started to spread, and we started seeing restaurants in different states start to get shut down, that was just sort of a coincidence,” Russ Lowe, director of Alpenglobe’s brand and marketing, said. “It crystallized the idea around it being a potential solution for alternative dining options to provide some physical distancing for people and a little bit more of a contained and sanitizable space.”
The dome-shaped ‘globes’ seat up to eight people and (depending on where they’re located) offer panoramic views through weather-protective plexiglass. They’re equipped with infrared heating and fresh-air circulation. Andy Jenkins, the founder of Alpenglobe, got the idea for the globes from a custom design he saw while living and traveling around Europe. He first test-marketed the Alpenglobe at Cafe Galleria, the restaurant he owns in Midway.
“It seemed to work immediately,” Lowe said “It was proof of concept right away.”
Finding building materials through Covid-19 has been a challenge for many construction businesses, and Alpenglobe is no exception. The Alpenglobe team was fortunate to partner with Nate King, owner of Insight Exhibits, Lowe said. King used time and resources typically spent on manufacturing displays for big trade shows, events, and conferences on Alpenglobe fabrication.
“We found kind of a perfect match and perfect timing to partner with them on fabrication,” Lowe said. “They have a lot of resources and vendors and suppliers already lined up. And so some of the relationships, we couldn’t have gotten, if we had just tried to go out and hustle up a bunch of lumber.”
Alpenglobe sources materials as locally as possible. A mill in Summit County has provided much of the wood. The current turnaround time from purchasing to receiving an Alpenglobe is about eight weeks. Globe prices start at $10,000 and can run to more than $20,000 depending on the customization.
“A major goal is that it becomes more and more accessible as materials and resources become more accessible, and as we can continue to make our fabrication production processes more efficient,” he said. “We’re in the first year of business. We’re going to learn a lot from this stage of the process.”
The business plans to continue finding new ways for its product to be a Covid-safe solution in different environments and at different price-points. Lowe said there’s a chance of seeing one in a neighbors backyard in the future.
Alpenglobes can be reserved at Cafe Galleria, Stein Eriksen, Montage, High West Distillery, Butcher’s Chophouse, the Westgate in Canyons, and La Caille in Salt Lake City. They’re also found in Telluride, Breckenridge, and Big Sky Montana.
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