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The Studio LLC is a multi-purpose space for events and coworking in Boulder. Though event revenue dried up during the coronavirus pandemic, continued leases for offices and coworking helps the company survive. (The Studio LLC / Courtesy photo)
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BOULDER — The Studio LLC, a coworking space and event venue, faces disruption as the statewide safer-at-home mandate limits gatherings to 10 people to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But, continued office and desk rentals preserve its longevity.

Within the 9,000 square-foot warehouse in Boulder, 70 members rent desks, private offices and workshops. The Studio offers a community kitchen and two conference rooms, one built out of an Airstream trailer. The space books weddings, birthday parties, corporate events and other occasions for weekends.

Event bookings support roughly 33% of The Studio’s revenue stream. Though The Studio didn’t black out parts of its calendar, events throughout were canceled or postponed.

But luckily, even through the shelter-in-place mandate, most coworking members continued their agreements. Co-owner and co-founder William Goodrich said that he’s thankful to the members for keeping the business afloat while event sales are nonexistent.

“If we were just an event venue I honestly don’t know how we would survive this,” Goodrich said. “I think we’re just grateful that we have a little bit of diversification.”

On May 9, Boulder County’s mandatory face coverings and adoption of the state’s safer-at-home mandate went into effect. Office-based businesses were permitted to return to work with limitations including reducing capacity by 50%, wearing masks in multi-person rooms, employee screenings and employee access to proper ventilation and sanitizing products.

Goodrich said that coworking spaces provide a challenge to monitor the more than 30 businesses under the roof.

“We’re not employers to all the people who are coming into work so what we’re doing is we’re monitoring the number of people who come in each day, and we’re ensuring that the saturation in the space is less than 50%,” he said.

In addition, partitions are placed between desks and kept a minimum of 6 feet apart. The Studio placed requirements on communal spaces to encourage limited interactions and hygienic practices.

The Studio has one full-time employee, who manages the coworking space, and four part-time staff for events. The single full-time worker remains on the job. One of the part-time employees continues work but pivoted from events to cleaning and sanitizing the building.

Goodrich said that many events were rescheduled rather than canceled. New inquiries for later this year, 2021 and 2022 are now rolling in. There are events as early as July that haven’t officially postponed. However, the time period for when large groups can gather is still unknown.

“I think we’re in a place right now where we can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “We just don’t know how long that tunnel is.”

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