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Golf Simulator Bar The Local Drive Picks Stanley Marketplace for Third Location

By July 2, 2024No Comments

Stanley Marketplace

The Local Drive is taking over the Stanley Marketplace hangar and setting up a third location as the brand looks to franchise.

The RiNo-born golf simulator bar is targeting a fall opening for what will be its largest location yet, and features sand volleyball courts to make the business less seasonal.

“Stanley Marketplace, strangely enough, was already on our radar before we ever opened the first location,” said Winston Manley, founder of Local Drive. “That place, it’s an institution and it’s a very successful location and area. It’s a logical place to work and the more I learned about it, the more we wanted to be there.”

In 2021, when Manley and friend Joe Lynch were looking for their first spot, Stanley Marketplace lacked space. So the pair settled on the Catalyst Building at 3513 Brighton Blvd. in RiNo, where they opened in 2022. A year later, they added their second location at 110 Emery St. in Longmont.

It was through the connections he made in Longmont, Manley said, that he remembered Stanley Marketplace, located in northwest Aurora.

“Not only the ecosystem of the 50-plus other businesses, but all the apartments that have gone up and are almost fully occupied,” Manley said of Stanley Marketplace. “That’s going to provide this development and that location with the demand that we need. We’re extremely happy with the RiNo location and our landlordsBut this neighborhood is developing a little slower than we would like. As everyone can see, most of the apartments are not yet open or filled.”

The Hanger

The Stanley Marketplace hangar, which dominates the west side of the building, sandwiched between OPENair Academy and Comida Cantina, has long served as an event space.

It is about 9,500 square feet, but Manley plans to build a mezzanine to add a second floor. Golf simulators will be located on both levels, allowing private events to take up an entire floor. The hangar, Manley said, will still retain its charm as a throwback to the days when the market building was an aircraft factory for Stanley Aviation.

Outside the large hangar doors on the west side, The Local Drive will have a patio and sand volleyball courts. Manley said this is an effort to address the seasonality associated with indoor golf simulators; the busiest season is winter, when playing golf outside is not an option.

Doors to the former hangar space that The Local Drive will occupy in Stanley Marketplace.(Karoline Leonard/BusinessDen)

In total, according to Manley, the venue will have three bars – two indoors and one outdoor – as well as a stage for concerts and a pro shop. It will be 25,000 square meters, including both the indoor and outdoor space.

“I really think they’re going to round out the Stanley Marketplace experience by offering that entertainment option,” said Ally Fredeen, General Manager of Stanley Marketplace. “Right now in the retail climate, we know more than ever that experience is everything. And so having that entertainment driver is something that we don’t have right now.”

Fredeen and Manley declined to provide details on rent and renovation costs.

The Local Drive uses $60,000 Trackman golf simulators, which cost about $60 an hour to rent, like the bar’s other locations. The company offers leagues and memberships, Manley said, and plans to keep prices the same at all locations, except for a few specials at each location related to private parties and spaces.

Standard golf clubs are free to use, but more expensive golf clubs can be rented.

Manley said they haven’t decided yet what to charge for using the sand volleyball courts, but he is considering making them free because the idea is to attract more visitors.

After opening the third location, Manley said he wanted to shift his focus to franchising the business, a process he has already started and is preparing to go live this year. Manley said he has already received interest in locations outside of Colorado.

“Retail, in general as an industry and as a sector, is being hit quite hard right now,” Manley said. “We want to strengthen our activities in all three locations and see where the market and the economy go. In my opinion, franchising is a completely different area, and that is something we are looking forward to and where most of my focus has shifted.”

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