New owner wants to build on Soda Mountain Construction & Design’s legacy
Steamboat Springs resident Chris Imbler will continue the legacy of Soda Mountain Construction & Design after purchasing the business from Mara Rhodes and her late husband, Chris, who started the company in 2006.
“I was in a place where I wasn’t going give up on it,” Imbler said. “I saw the value in the crew and the community that this company impacts. We have 10 guys and gals in our immediate crew, but we have hundreds of subcontractors and they all have families. The job needs to keep going; the work must continue.”
Chris and Mara Rhodes met in Steamboat Springs in 2002 and spent four years working in all sorts of different industries — from restaurants and the resort to landscaping and construction — while pursuing their dream of skiing and settling in the Colorado mountains.
“When we started our company in 2006, our dream was simply to create a way to stay in Steamboat, raise a family and be part of this community,” Mara said. “Building homes made it all come true.”
Imbler said Chris, who died in September 2022, is remembered for his big energy, eye for detail and his drive to turn clients’ dreams into reality — something Imbler said the company still strives for and is building on today.
“We’re a high-end custom-home building company, and we kind of fit this niche of design-build where we’ll take clients who maybe have a raw piece of land or an old home that they’re looking to do a remodel, and we’ll take them all the way through,” said Imbler, who joined the company as vice president in 2021 and now assumes the role of president and owner.
The transition in ownership marks a new chapter for Soda Mountain Construction & Design. Mara said that working with Imbler through this has given the Rhodes family the reassurance that their years of dedication to the team and to the community will live on.
“We talked about trying to carry on the Rhodes’ family tradition,” said Travis Mathey, who has handled the architecture at the company for 10 years. “We are stepping it up, and we’re in a position now where we must have an attitude of ‘Let’s do it better. Let’s take that vision and use that as platform for our base.’ To go through what we’ve gone through as a company, we must be scrappy, and we continue to work to prove that we are the best of the best.”
The company currently has several custom homes under construction and in the design phase. Recently, the company’s work was featured in LUXE Magazine. The company’s design team also reconstructed the Yampa River Botanic Park entry gates, which opened to the public earlier this summer.
“The team and I are committed to preserving the core values and principles that have defined Soda Mountain Construction & Design. That means building top quality construction, delivering outstanding customer service and continuing to be a leader in this community,” Imbler said. “I am very excited for this opportunity and am honored to continue to build on Rhodes’ legacy and keep his fire alive.”
Imbler is a 2016 graduate of the University of Colorado business school and has a background in finance and real estate development. He brings a wealth of experience and a commitment to the values and vision that have made Soda Mountain Construction & Design a trusted name in the community. Imbler worked locally on the historic redevelopment project at 910 Yampa St. (the former YVEA campus) and later as an analyst with Four Points Funding, a real estate investment group.
As the owner, Imbler said the company will remain focused on high-end custom homes but can also handle everything from remodels to high-end trim out jobs. For more information, visit SMCDLtd.com.
“I think the spirit of pushing forward and finding new challenges and surprising yourself with what you think you’re capable of is very much ingrained in the mentality of the company,” Imbler said. “We concentrate on finding new ways to explore our craft to create new things and just on building more amazing homes.
“Basically, we begin with a raw piece of land, design and build the home, and then turn over the keys to the owner. We’re a full service for the design and the build.”
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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