We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Cronin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachel, is there something you believe many others might not?
Just about everything in my life has gone against conventional wisdom. My advice would be to always follow your own path and not feel pulled away from your true self because of societal, family or cultural pressure.
When I was little, I moved around a lot. I grew up in 19 different states and moved over 50 times. I grew up living a very unconventional life and also felt drawn to unconventional careers. Maybe it was the constant struggle, but I knew deep down I was capable of something greater.
I worked very hard in many career paths looking for that “something”. I worked as a professional model, actor and even produced a few short films.
After I got married, I dove into several business ideas while raising our children. I was never interested in the 9am-5pm lifestyle or the traditional white-picket fence American dream. Which is probably why when we found our 35-acre mountain property, I was so willing to trade our cul-de-sac suburban lifestyle for an RV and start what would become our off-grid life and later, launch 2 corporations for the outdoor minded.
Success isn’t a straight line up. It’s a zigzig of many ups and downs, and it’s okay to evolve over decades until you find your “something”, because when you find it, everything falls into place.
What should our readers know about your business?
Cronin Mountain is a B-corp outdoor adventure, lodging and retreat company.
When I learned about B-corps, I instantly fell in love with them and knew we wanted to join in on using business as a force for good, as well as work towards achieving the highest environmental standards possible.
Our 35-acre property consists of 7 adventures: rock climbing, rappelling, hiking, zip lining, mountain biking, ice climbing and snow shoeing. We chose 7, because our property is at 7,777 ft.
We are also set up to host special events, like weddings, corporate retreats, personal growth experiences, forest bathing (shinrin yoku), and even camping.
With our property only being 15 minutes away from the Broadmoor area of Colorado Springs, we love we can offer so many outdoor-minded experiences so close to town.
Getting to where we are today, was not easy though. Developing raw land is difficult. We had a steep learning curve. But, our million-dollar views make it all worth it.
My favorite quote is, “The man on top of the mountain did not fall there,” by Vince Lombardi. The man on top of the mountain chose to be there, worked hard to be there and fought to be there.
I look at our experience with Cronin Mountain the same way. Learning to build in a place never been built before is not easy, but doing it paves the way for not only others to follow, but also others to be inspired and change for the better too.
Cronin Mountain also has a non-profit division called the Cronin Mountain Foundation. This foundation is dedicated to improving or creating rural and forest roads for communities in need.
In our development journey, we had so many struggles because of the poor conditions of the dirt roads in our area.
Roads are literally the building blocks of society as we know it. Without roads, nothing happens. No one can get to the store, have access to water or emergency care, agriculture and more, without roads.
Our mission right now is to aid in the 2.6 million miles of unpaved roads here in the USA that are drastically under-funded and help keep them safe for those who need them most. After that, we would love to travel internationally and create roads to schools, water or wells, farms and more for rural communities that need them. Roads truly can make all the difference in the world and our foundation helps make that possible for those in need.
I am also excited to announce I will be speaking at TEDxBreckenridge this October about our journey and how I feel getting back into nature and off-grid living is the next modern luxury. Tickets are on sale now on the TEDxBreckenridge website and the YouTube link to watch later will be available this winter.
I also have a book launching this summer called, “Go Organic in 90 Days,” which is a weekly shopping guide to help you live a healthier life on any budget. Health and wellness has always been a passion of mine and I’m excited to see this work hit the shelves very soon.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love this! Okay, of course we would hike Cronin Mountain first. We would start there and see incredible views of the Cheyenne mountains and Pike National Forest and get the signature photo out on our rock pavilion. After that, we would get a bite to eat at the Old Stage Cantina up the road from us and go horseback riding at the Broadmoor riding stables. With those out of the way, we would travel to the top of Pikes Peak–either hiking and stay at Barr Camp on the way up, or drive, if we are not feeling a 2-day hike. Other must-haves during our week would be visiting Garden of the Gods, Cave of the Winds and eating at the Burrowing Owl, La Baguette and Prime 25. Also, ice cream at Caffeinated Cow is also a must. We’d end the week by feeding the giraffes at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo along with white-water rafting at the Royal Gorge–another one of a kind experience! There is a reason Colorado Springs is considered the #2 best city in the USA! And this itinerary gives a little taste as to why.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d love to dedicate my shoutout to my amazing husband. I would not be where I am today without his love, encouragement and support. I’d also love to recognize my good friend Kat Davidson. who nominated me for this shoutout. Kat is an incredible children’s book author, business woman and friend. Thank you for being there for me! Lastly, I’d love to recognize my speaker coach Sandy Lamb. Thank you for your help in guiding me in my TEDx journey. I’m so grateful for you.
Other: Our foundation website address is: www.croninmountain.org
Nat Hurt Photography Ultra Focus Photography