When a business, organization, group, or individual joins their local chamber, they are investing in YOUR community. We appreciate our members and want to highlight them.
Throughout this year, we will feature Holton/Jackson County Chamber members. Here you will be able to find out more about their services, the history of the business, and the faces behind the business.
Red Rock Guest Ranch
When Bill and Debra Brown moved to rural Soldier in 1998, they realized that there was no place for people to stay when they came home for weddings, reunions, birthdays, funerals, etc. The Red Rock Guest Ranch was the solution to that problem by providing lodging, and meeting/reception space. It officially opened its doors on January 1st, 2000, and celebrated its 21st anniversary at the beginning of 2021.
The Red Rock Guest Ranch is owned by Bill Brown (a 28-year career in the Army) and Debra Brown (a 33-year career in financial services). It is managed with the help of Luke Schreiber who has been with them for 20 years.
"We love country living and would never move back to town. We love the community and the people in the community and our church which is only 1.5 miles down the road. We have the best neighbors."
In the beginning, they only had three bedrooms, each with a private bathroom.
They added on to the original farm home, which was built in 1898, and included 3 bedrooms that could be used for B&B business. Currently, The Red Rock Guest Ranch provides lodging with the options for meals or self-catering, meeting/reception space, and has over 3 miles of hiking trails, including trails in a 14 acre re-established tallgrass prairie. They have also added a guest house, hunting lodge, and a cabin. Interesting fact: The Kansas Central Railway, later known as the LK&W Railroad, which was a narrow-gauge railroad, ran across their property and you can still see where the tracks were. The train ran from 1872 to 1935.
"We are proud of the fact that we have remained open continuously for over 20 years. We were featured in Kansas Magazine in 2004, won the Huck Boyd award in 2004, and received an ArrivaLIST "Most Visited Places" award in 2018. Our biggest challenge is our location. We are located on 270th Road, 1.5 miles from HWY 62 on a not very well maintained rock road. There are times that guests without 4 wheel drive can not make that 1.5-mile drive. Our goal is to continue to provide lodging and meeting space for this part of Jackson County. The chamber has helped us have a "presence" in the wider Jackson County community beyond just the local Soldier area".
Steam Power Carpet Cleaning
For the Basel family, cleaning services just runs in the family. "You might say we inherited this type of work. My grandfather and father both worked in this field". WhileTony Basel, the owner of Steam Power Carpet Cleaning, was raised around the cleaning business he also spent some years in the construction field, dabbled in landscaping, and even spent some time in update New York. But cleaning and farming are what Tony has grown up to know and love. Since Tony and his wife settled back in the area in 1998, they followed in the footsteps of previous generations and started Steam Power Carpet Cleaning. This year, they will be celebrating 22 years of business.
"My wife and I both have parents and grandparents from this area. We also wanted to live closer to our grandparents Bill and Mary Coverdale who lived on a farm south of Soldier KS”. Tony wanted to farm with his grandpa and he has enjoyed that privilege over the last 20 years. One thing that Steam Power Carpet Cleaning is most proud of is building great, long-term relationships with our staff and people in our community. Having lived in a bigger city, the friendships we have in this community are never lost upon us". Steam Power offers carpet, air duct, and tile cleaning, pet odor removal, minor water damage restoration, commercial dehumidifier and air mover rentals, commercial night office cleaning services, consulting on mold prevention, and life cycle principles of building and building materials. They are also a Tornado Vacuum dealer. Over the years, they have found it to be beneficial to stay diversified and up-to-date with their line of work. They are always learning and implementing new technology, chemicals, and adding new cleaning equipment. Steam Power serves the Jackson County area, but they have recently expanded to Shawnee County, Topeka. In 2019 and 2020, they were voted "Top Three Carpet Cleaning Companies" in Best of Topeka.
Owning and operating a business has its own set of challenges. "There’s always a challenge mechanically just to keep the trucks and equipment running. We get calls that really test the pit in your stomach. It has been difficult for everyone to overcome the fear of Covid and continue to provide this type of service. It has been a challenge sometimes to take the calls of someone who has lost control of their bodily fluids, someone who has bled out on their carpet or has passed away in the home. Our biggest challenge is to protect our own health whether it’s air duct cleaning, dangerous cleaning chemicals, hepatitis, or Covid. Yes, and keeping the trucks clean with all the muddy country roads in Jackson County".
As a business goal, Steam Power wants to ensure not to sacrifice the quality of service for volume and growth. They also want to continue to be here for long-time customers in emergencies and flood situations. When asked what advice would he give to new business owners, Tony simply said, "make time for the important things - like your family". They believe that when they take care of other people, they will take care of them. Taking care of their own staff members and developing good routines is important to them. "We are not a franchise - we support local businesses, agriculture, and our community".
"We appreciate the use of the sign on Highway 75, we also appreciated during Covid being able to be connected with KNZA radio to discuss how we are safely helping the community and to get the message out. We also appreciate the networking you provide with other businesses, not to mention the visiting seminars and training that is available to us monthly".
Denison State Bank
Denison State Bank (DSB) was chartered in 1901 with the first office located in the nearby town of Denison. That office stayed there until 1939 and then relocated to the Square in Holton. Operating under the same name since the beginning, this year, Denison State Bank is celebrating 120 years serving our communities and beyond.
“Jackson County and the nearby area is home to DSB, and home is where DSB wants to be”.
DSB offers services expected of a leading community bank. This includes receiving and protecting deposited funds, extending credit to qualified borrowers, processing payments, and money movement around the world.
Customers access DSB services and employees through a network of five offices, ATMs, and digital logins. The faces behind providing and implementing the services include 65 full-time officers and staff, about 12 part-time employees who provide a variety of business skills to the bank and its customers, and a 6-member local board of directors who govern the company. DSB is also one of the few banks in Kansas with a woman serving as company CEO and two-thirds of the bank employees are women.
While they have many things to be proud of, DSB is most proud of the generations of loyal customers and businesses that have helped DSB be successful while also allow DSB to be part of their successes. They have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with the local public.
As with any business endeavor, there are challenges to overcome. DSB has weathered many challenges of the 20th and 21st centuries and still came through. This includes overcoming world wars, economic depressions, new trends in buying behavior, changes in market demographics. DSB is well-positioned to respond to today’s challenges.
Some interesting facts about Denison State Bank include:
- DSB is the 35th largest bank in Kansas, out of 226, in asset size.
- The DSB logo is an image of a corn plant, representing fervent growth opportunities.
- Studio 1 Dance Center is located on the top floor of the main bank office in downtown Holton, and in certain parts of the bank, the sound of dancing feet can be heard when lessons are underway.
As a business in Jackson County, the Chamber helps Denison State Bank by having a central resource for business-related information and a network of local business peers.
To keep up to date with what’s happening at Denison State Bank look and listen for frequent advertisements in local media and check out the following social media accounts:
Website: www.dsbks.com | Facebook: Denison State Bank | Instagram: denisonstatebank | Twitter: @dsbks| LinkedIn: Denison State Bank