The Matt Sodnicar Podcast

One of the best storytellers I've ever met. Vegas hotels at midnight. Ferraris. Airlines. Running.

Show Notes

Alternate titles for this episode:
  • A bottle of wine and a donut
  • 2 Idiots in a box
I wanted Chris to be a guest because he tells great stories.  While still amusing AF, Chris has a great life philosophy about how to treat people and maximize an opportunity, and recover from adversity.

We go through his days as a graveyard shift valet at a Vegas hotel & casino, 9/11 being his second day as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines, and starting a premier run store and community here in Denver.


★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

What is The Matt Sodnicar Podcast?

The Matt Sodnicar Podcast. Founded on the belief that one need not be famous to tell a compelling story. Focused on turning points in business and in life, those moments that will inspire others.

Have a story to share? Head to Instagram @themattsodcast and shoot us a DM!

Matt Sodnicar 1:29
So the first story that I wanted to capture was the the Ferrari story.

Chris Sullivan 1:36
Yeah, so back in the 90s was a valet at the Desert Inn, which is no longer there. Yeah, it's cool Rat Pack Hotel, which is later went through a whole bunch of stuff and got bought by Steve Wynn, who's not a nice person, but and then, then we, you know, we all got close , laid off and everything in the right about the time we were getting laid off. I think they had announced it. And they were having a meeting like you could go to where they tell you how you getting screwed. And so I was working there. And I had already said I was working there to the last day because if you have a job in Vegas, like that, and you try to go somewhere else, it's all seniority. It's all whatever. So you'd start at the bottom you can screw it's really hard to get those jobs. And then the other guy I was hanging out with Dave he was like a 20 year Bellman, he had like five kids, he hadn't been able to find another job. He was all stressed out and everything else. Plus he that stuff smoke weed, because he was trying to find new job after 20 years and whatever, that kind of thing. But earlier in the day, I got a call from this VP guy, he was kinda like wins, right? Amen. And he had after they announced they were firing us within a week. He came with like, a half a million in new cars. And we're just like, Screw you, dude. Because this didn't cost okay. I was like this bullshit. That's fucked up. Yeah, like now all these people go. And I'd only worked it for like four years. But you had people that have been there one lady. She'd been there since 1954. And this was 2000. Wow. And so and the hotel had opened in 1950. Right, and she's a cocktail waitress the whole time. And she was like, everybody's like, the sweetest Grandma Rose. My buddy that I worked with Greg, it was his mom. You know, she's like you, my boy hard for me. I'm like, I'm not hugging you, son. But so anyway. So I went to work at the nighttime by myself. And then in the morning, somebody else comes to help out. So I got a call from the VP guy. And he tells me I need to go the other end of the hotel, which like the casino in to pick up, park his car for him.

I hadn't seen this car yet. But I get over there. And they have this giant wood chipper like machine like, think of like a garbage truck, right? But it's chipping chips, because they're worth money. Right? So you have to destroy them. Because otherwise, you could cash them in like, I don't know what the time is now. But there's a time frame where you you still catch the chips and even if the casinos closed or whatever. And anyway, so they had armed guards on stuff and he's like, Oh, here's the key to my car. This is how it unlocks. I'm like, like I'm a fucking moron. And I'm like I am I have parked so many cars you like yeah, to be kidding me. So it's this red Ferrari, you know, just think like Magnum P I like Ferrari, whatever. And I'm like, alright, that's fine. I go to get in the car. And I'm in a hurry because I'm losing money because I'm not the other than parking cars. And it's automatic. Right? Yeah. Like, who buys an automatic Ferrari? I mean, you're not disabled or something where you need you know, you need it. Whatever. I'm like, what a jackass right? So I'm like, I get in the Ferrari. And I'm just pissed because he's just a jerk anyway, but so now I get around the corner and I don't know it's maybe like, let's just See, like 70, 80 yards to the front door where the rest of the guys are. And I put it in neutral and I just start revving it up and revving it up. And they're all looking at me like horrified. These guys have been there for decades that are working. They're like, they're like, No.

And then I dropped him, came flying up to the front, and just stop on a dime right in front of everybody else. And then I put it back in new dorm room RAM. They're all like, don't do it don't do and I take off again, and then I go park it in the garage. Alright, so that's fine. Well, then later when they all go to this meeting, it's just me and that guy, Dave, because everybody else wanted to go, I'm like, I don't give a shit. I'm working here until the day they put the fence up around the joint. Whatever it is what it is. So then I said to Dave, you know, you want to go for a ride in this Ferrari. He's like, Well, I've never been in one before. And I was like, 20 years, you've never been a Ferrari. You worked right here. He's like, nope. And I was like, Alright, hold on, I'll go get it. So I go get it. He's like, who's gonna watch it from like, Who gives a shit? We are getting fired in like three weeks? Right? Who cares? So he, um, he's like, Well, I guess you're right. And that was back, you know, you have like, the little instant cameras, right, the windup, you know, with the plastic covers on them, whatever. And so I don't know how we had one of those one of us had, and so I get him in the car. And I take him into the parking lot, and I'm like, whatever. But then in this partner, it's just the valet and the employee parking garage. And it's pretty tight. We're doing 60 miles an hour, in the parking garage. Now, I should say I was he was holding on for dear life, the whole time, and just like freaking out, and I'm like, Come on, just ripping through this parking garage. I mean, we're lucky, we didn't crash or anything. But still, then I get to the end. And then of course, we have the camera. So now I'm taking all these pictures with them and all that kind of stuff. And he's like just being like model like on the price is right? Laying on the cars and take a picture. And, and then before I took them back, and before I parked the car again, I was like, how am I gonna do one thing? And I went in the glove box, and I took out the insurance card. And he's like, why are you doing that? I go, there's the old school trick. So one of the old school Valley guys taught me that a couple years ago, if somebody is fucking with you, and you really want to mess them up, take their insurance code, or their registration, one of the two, because when they get pulled over and they will, it won't be there. And they'll get a ticket. And even though there it's registered or insured, or whatever, they'll have to like go through the trouble and all that kind of stuff. So I still have it somewhere. It's in a box. I should find that somewhere. But yeah, I mean, I've sub it's probably like a 2000 Ferrari, I have an insurance card for this guy. Whatever. So anyway, but that was just like the the fry so it was kind of like Ferris Bueller's Day Off where we're just hauling ass in the Ferrari and whatever. And then, yeah,

Matt Sodnicar 7:48
I love the slow burn on the you know, he could it totaled the car or let they're out of the tires or something. But the insurance card, I love the subtlety. That's a long game of that.

Chris Sullivan 8:00
Yeah, that's where the old school guys told me it's got I remember his name is Pat. And he he told me that. And he you know, just little tricks from those guys about stuff. I mean, we were learning we'd learned the trick where you put the little pebble in the you take the the tire valve cap off, put a little pebble there and you put it back on slowly and it'll give us little league there is that we did that to a couple people who would park in the valet where they busted our gate going in. And we know who parked in the valley because we always backed our cars in every car was backed in so if all of a sudden ones not back then you know somebody else did it. And then this one kids are their parents were crazy high rollers that this is like a five star hotel. And they would come from LA and then the kids would just kind of ride on the parents coattails and never tip anybody park where they weren't supposed to all this stuff and be like, listen, dude, just throw a couple bucks at somebody and they'll get your car, whatever. And then, yeah, the guy had one of those cars where he just like two inches off the ground, you know, like, whatever. And then now he's got this flat tire and the kid comes back and he's like, ooh, and this is like the fourth time this kid had done this to us so we only finally did your thing. And so go do you have an of course we have an inflator. We have a jumpstart we got all that stuff. Like yes, sorry, we don't. Now at the time the strip was a whole lot different right? So I mean, the closest gas station was probably at least a mile. Right? So now he's crawling down Las Vegas Boulevard like probably half an inch off the ground. You know what, whatever and just like to bed Don't Don't fuck with the valets. I mean we had a it was because it was a Rat Pack hotel. We had the did Rat Pack show for a little while where it was all like you know Sammy Davis, impersonators. Frank Sinatra, all that kind of stuff. And it was was the guy's name from The Partridge Family. Cassidy

Matt Sodnicar 9:55
Cassidy

Chris Sullivan 9:56
what a jig is right? Oh, I thought he was the bee's knees, decades after whatever and it's like, you know, there's lots of famous people that come in and they were cool, right and nice. And then there's other ones that were J he was a jackass. And he was, he was like a D list guy, you know, if you were gonna do something now and he would do that to Salta. Oh, I forgot my phone in the car off, right. So you have to keep running back and forth. Anyway, never tip anybody. So after Wow, we'd be really busy. You know, it's a Friday night. Mike, I have time for you to be an idiot. If you were nice and just threw somebody five bucks once in a while, they would have done it. And so we do like, Here you go. Here's your key, sir. It's down there on the left hand side, whatever. And the thing is, like, you know, 100 yards away. So and then we started parking his car outside. So it's, you know, it's no big deal of is it nighttime, right, but Vegas in the summertime. And your car's parked outside? Yeah. Then after a while he started tipping us. So because one of the guys in his show did the same thing I forget which which rat Packer he was impersonating. But he was doing the same thing for the webtoon. Finally, yeah, he started tipping. So I'm not playing that game. Just be cool, man. This is cool. We are teamsters man wait and give a full Bay. Back then that Oscar Goodman was the mayor of Las Vegas. And he was the mob famous mob lawyer. So come in to the hotel and park right up front and just he would talk to all the employees. Yeah. His wife was the mayor for a while but I think maybe they have a new mayor now. But he was old school Vegas. So he knew who to talk to who to get the votes from and all set, but he was totally cool. Right? And yeah, so what's that

Matt Sodnicar 11:44
line? And is it Ocean's 13? Or something where Elliot Gould's characters? Like you shook hands with Frank?

Chris Sullivan 11:53
Yes, there's okay. So, here's a Vegas story. Okay. I don't think I've ever told you this one. And this is just one of my coolest things that ever happened to me in life. Right. Okay, where we, the hotel was going to close. It was about two months out. Because we had, you know, maybe

Matt Sodnicar 12:10
What year was this about?

Chris Sullivan 12:11
It was 2000. That was the fall of 2000. Because I think we officially closed sometime in September. I forget the exact day. And I get pictures cool. We're all stand out front. There's one guy, his family been coming there for decades, he's handed out 200 bucks to every employee. It was nuts. And they literally put a fence around the building while we were in there. Like there was a chain link fence around the whole property that wasn't there when we started that day. Wow. Because I wasn't even supposed to work that day. I was like, why don't want to miss this, right? So I put my uniform on. I went to work. And I'll get to those store. And I go, I go to work. And at one point, the one supervisor who I didn't like that much. He looks at me. He's like, um, did you clock in today? And I was like, Yeah, I was at work, right? He goes, good. I want everybody to get paid. And I was like, okay. All I was doing is I was running around. And I went down. And I knew where you know, all the bars and stuff in the, you know, they knew they were shutting down. So they weren't buying anything. Right. So like, stuff was running out, like, oh, they don't have this anymore, whatever. I went and I found like a half of a handle of vodka at the one bar and just grabbed it from the back bar, you know, in the casino, and then found some orange juice and whatever. And I was making what he called screwdrivers, screwdrivers, and in the valet booth for all the valet and Bellman. Anybody came in, I'm sitting there mixing drinks, and then we're all working. Right. So who cares? I mean, that is the last day you're like, who cares? And some of those people have been there for decades. And then, you know, a couple of times people came in the thought that you're gonna yell that and they're like, Can I have one? I'm like, yes, yes, you can. And then I went back, I scrounge up more booze more, whatever, just making drinks and all that kind of stuff. So that was a lot of fun. But when we knew that we were getting fired. We had gotten an invitation from this guy, Tonio, who was Sinatra's manager something back in the day. Wow. And had become or somehow, you know, I ended up as Don Rickles manager. Okay, so another, not in the Rat Pack, but in the Rat Pack group, right? They're all friends and like old school, Real Deal stuff. And so, and Don had been playing there for a long, long time. I'd never gotten to meet him. And he's like, listen, Don wants me to invite all of you guys the whole front to come to the show as his guests, because you've, you know, taken care of us for years and years and years and years. And he wants everybody to come. And so I'm like, Oh, hell yeah, I am not missing this. Right. And I'm one of the younger guys there by far. I think at that time I was I guess, I just turned 30. But most of those guys, like it said had been there on the low end like 1520 years, right some guys 30 years more, that kind of thing. So now, you know, normally it would be asleep at that time because I would go to work at one in the morning. So what the show time that's the time that I would be asleep. You know, I work I learned after a while it took me. I slept twice a day. I come home, I slept for three or four hours, then I would get up for a while and then I go back to sleep because I tried it over a year to figure it out. Right. But I'm like, I'm Miss sleep to go to the show. This is going to be amazing. So we go. And of course the guys that work in the show room. They know everybody it's always because we got great seats. Luckily, we weren't in the front row cuz Rickles would roast the shit at it anyway. Right. So I'm like, I don't want to be that guy. But we're like about five or six rows back and had a great time and all this stuff. And then Tony comes back and asks us, he goes down. We'd like to invite you guys to his dressing room. And I'm like, hell yeah. Right. So now we go back to the dressing room. And we're having cocktails with Don Rickles. There's like, maybe like 10 of us and him and Tony Oh, guy, and it was just insane. And he is making you laugh. Like so hard. Where he you know, he just talking to you. And you're just like, and you're kinda like it. This is not real. This is like insane. This is badass. Right? And where it's kind of that connection to Sinatra or somebody where like, you know, I couldn't pay to do this. And then pretty much the highlight was where he walks over to me at some point. I don't know what I said. I'm sure it was fucking hilarious. What I said, what, I don't know what I said. But he walks over to me and he's a little guy. I'm not a big dude. Right? But he walks over, he reaches up he squeezes both my cheeks at the same time. And he goes, you're a good kid. I like you. And I was like, Oh, yeah. Like that was? Well, you know? I mean, he may do that to everybody who the hell knows. Right? But you were just like, that was amazing. And I had one friend at the time that I grew up with that I knew if I called him and told him that story, he would be like, That was sick. And then somewhere it seemed that I got a picture Where's like real picture of the whole group of us with Don Rickles, and cocktails in their hand and all that kind of stuff. But it was like, it was a great job. I hate Las Vegas. But the job that I had was a lot of fun. We did a lot of crazy stuff in the middle of the night. People didn't want to work that graveyard shift. But I had gotten a tip from one guy that was like, listen, it's just you. So you can kind of do what you want. And you have supervisors over your you know, whatever. And it turned out to be a great deal. And the people I work with that night, I had a lot of fun with them. You know, we had this little lady from Uganda that worked upstairs in the employee dining room because you know, it's basically like it you know, you go any till the cook what you want at nighttime, they don't have as much stuff during the day all kinds of food, right? But at nighttime and this guy Dave and he cook you up. You want some eggs, pancakes, whatever. What do you want? Because I'd have lunch at three or four in the morning. And Margaret. She was super dark skinned, like, I don't think I've ever personally known anyone that was issued from Uganda. She was teeny tiny. She looked like she was 12. She had like five kids. And she was a sweet and I tell you, Margaret cleaned up. You know, somebody would say well, what job you all want to park cars where work in the employee dining room, people throw money at you. She's cleaned up trays getting you you need some more soda, you know, whatever it is you got, and she was going nuts. And there was time where she

she gave me picture of the you know, like a family picture thing from like, you know, Sears or something probably back in the day where she took her kids and got the picture taken. And she's like, I want to give you this as me and my kids. And she's so sweet. Oh, cool. Yeah, she's so sweet. And there's this and like I said, She's super dark skinned, right? There's this one kid, he's paler than me. And I was like, Mark, what's up with that? Well, the guy that I took the shift over from nails was this Norwegian guy and totally pay, you know, like, the whole Scandinavian look. And I and I knew that she had a crush on nails for a long time. So I found it like Margo knows, and she's like, just giggle giggle giggle so then, of course, I had to show that picture next time it's kept in my pocket. As soon as Nels came in to work. I go hey, now we gotta have a talk. He's like, why go Margaret. She didn't want to talk to you about this because she's, you know, embarrassed. The kids need new shoes. And you know when I pull the picture out, he's like, No, it's not me. I don't know. I don't know. But I mean it's a great job a lot of fun people and all that kind of stuff. So I'd like you know, look fondly back on that but the eggs in Vegas has gotten worse now. Now. I tried to get in and get out. I got went to this past summer to see a comedian there and see Jim Jefferies if you haven't seen him. He's really good. Oh, loving guy. But other than that, I'm like me the hell out of here.

Matt Sodnicar 19:53
Whatever happened with Dave and Rose.

Chris Sullivan 19:57
So Dave, he is I don't know if he ever found a job. I mean, I can tell you a cool Dave story if you want to get cool, but yeah, so Dave, same thing when he knew he was getting laid off. And just a really nice guy, right? And I mean, I knew his family and also because whatever, but he had bought tickets to Red Hot Chili Peppers, and huge peppers fan had like, I don't know, what's it like a gear logo or whatever they have. So he had that tattooed on his one of his shoulders. And back before everybody in a grandma had tattoos, right everywhere, but. And he had paid for a night, the hard rock, and all this kind of stuff is a big thing. Well, once he was getting laid off, he's like, telling his wife, maybe I should sell this stuff. And he's like, no, no, no, no, you plate you paid for it a long time ago. You should enjoy this because who knows when you're gonna get to do it again. Right? So Dave goes, and during the day, he's at the pool, he's trying to, you know, suck it all up as much fun as he can have. So he's in the pool, drink beers floating around on a float or something. And this couple's talking to them talking to him as ganger guy and Lady Right. And, you know, they're all got their hats and sunglasses on because summertime freakin in Vegas. So they're all covered up in the pool. And the one guy noticed his his tattoo and everything. And he's like, Well, that's really cool. You know, a big fan. He goes, I'm going to show and he tells him the whole story about how he's getting laid off after 20 years and how you know, his wife encouraged him to go and all that kind of stuff. So he's like, I'm just really looking forward to the show. So then, you know, they talked for like, I don't know, hour, two hours just floating around. And then that couple leaves, and maybe like 10 minutes later, somebody that works a hard rock comes over and tells him sir, you've been invited to this cabana over here. So he's like, me, you know, like, I'm just an idiot in the pool by myself. I don't know anyone here. And he is like, okay, so he goes over to like this VIP VIP cabana. So it turns out, the guy he was talking to is Chad is the drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. And here's the big fan who's probably stoned but he's like, but didn't even recognize it. You know, whatever. Like said, they're all sunglasses, hats, whatever. And it was his wife. And then he went and told the band. I just met this guy. This is his story, the band's like, get him over here. So he spent the rest of the day with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, then went to the show then got to go backstage, all that kind of stuff. So that's rad story from them. And a good thing for him because you know, but that's probably the last thing I know of Dave. I mean, I talked to him a couple other times, but we'd all everybody got laid off. And there was only a couple people I kept in touch with after that. And vague is very transitory. So it's, it's hard. But like said super cool people. And real people. And, you know, Vegas, they always come all the time. One of the dumbest questions people always get Do you live here? No, dumbass, they fly me in every week. All those houses you flew over coming here and they weren't even half the houses that there are. But everybody at least once or twice a week you get that question? Do you live here? Like, yes. You know, it'd be one thing we are sitting next to each other a craps table. Right? You like asking questions? When you're like, I work at the hotel. I have a name tag. Yeah. Like, I don't know. So it's just such a weird place. My brother lived there for like 12 years, I got him a job as a Bellman at Monte Carlo. And he like that job. What, uh, he lived there for like, 12 years. And you know, I was long gone. And he one day just calls me up. He goes, bro, I finally figured out why you hate this place so fucking much. He's like, I gotta go. And he went from there to a little town in South Carolina, where my mom and my stepfather lived at the time, which is beautiful place on Lake and everything. But it was like, he was like, I gotta go. And he meant like, I gotta go. Like,

Matt Sodnicar 24:02
what did he figure out?

Chris Sullivan 24:03
I just think he finally hated it. Like I did. Just, it's not for everyone. My father lived there until he passed away where he loved it. And they, you know, that beautiful house on the up on a mountain. You saw the city, you know, when it's all lit up and everything. So that was cool, but not my thing. I think,

Matt Sodnicar 24:23
well, there must be something cool about like, Dave wouldn't have had that job for 20 years. Right? Because it's not like it's kind of like how servers in Europe that that's a career correct. And there must be something about the environment that kept him there.

Chris Sullivan 24:40
Well, I think it's kind of like my current job now as a male stewardess, right? Where I got 20 years in, I ain't going anywhere, dude. Even though right now, if you were there for 20 years, 20 years, right? Wow. I don't know anybody that likes going to work right now. Right? It's just one of those things, but um, just lots of different factors for different But the other job, like I said, once you're in, it's seniority based. So oh, all the ships are seniority based, and unless they open a new hotel, so let's just say you work in the Desert Inn and all of a sudden Caesars has an opening. And you take the opening at Caesars somehow get that, which you got to be connected. I mean, I never dad, three places, I knew the right people. I was talking to him, whatever. I was a taxi driver before that. So I would drive a taxi for six months with that was insane as well. But, um, but then you would start at the bottom. So why would you give up 20 years, so even if you really didn't like the place you worked, a lot of people didn't leave unless the hotel closed, or whatever. Like said, if there were new properties that opened up, and you could get in there, like if you and you and I get hired at the same time, at this new property, you know, hotel x, well, we're kind of on the same thing. And they'll figure out that seniority but it won't be that big of a difference. And then, you know, within a year they'll be hiring other people. So you'll get people. So yeah, it'd be totally different. And then it's the money that everybody wants to go the new property, all that kind of stuff. But this old school Rat Pack hotel, super super class, he had a golf course everything. You made money because you knew people. I mean, I had Smith's grocery stores, which is kind of a Southwest thing. Mr. Smith would come and he had his own limo back then, right? That was a big deal. Like he didn't nobody drew around their own limo, white limo, his driver, I forget the guy's name, but super cool. And he will call us we'd have cell phones, right? But he did in the car, whatever you had on the phone in the car, who knows, we might have been like 10 pounds for that? I don't know. But he would call and he would tell you if they were coming. And he'd be like, Hey, we're going to be at this door. And he knew the guys that worked on each shift. And because he liked to come to that hotel, and he would come in, and I will go run to the I don't care if there were 10 people waiting in line to get the car back. I'll be right back and run to the other end of the hotels I 100 yards by I get down there. And Mrs. Smith pulls up open the door. And Mr. Smith Hey, Chris, how you doing? Boom. 100 bucks, boom. 100 bucks every time I saw that guy. And the same thing that guy would tell you when you were coming out? Hey, we're probably gonna be in there for a couple hours. I'll call you when we're coming out. I'm like, Okay. And he was like buddies with Mike dick. And those guys, every time I would see them, it was 100 all the time. And like I said, this was 1990. Right? Or 2000? I mean, so 2000 So it's a long time ago. I take 100 bucks right now but I mean still Sure. Um, yeah, it was it was good money. And my brother when he worked in my car, they made love make good money. But you know, he would he would kind of put the valet guys down there a little bit because I got this is just me nothing man. My brother made 400 Last night doing that in the middle of the night. Right. And so it was just one of those things, but you knew the people they knew you and that's how you made money. I had a guy from New Orleans that every time he I think he just Mr. Boudreau, I knew his name was 20 bucks, no matter what I did. We had Mr. Bone. That guy, I don't think he cared anything but 15. He just walked around, and he would tip he was like the nicest man. And you just say hi to him. And next thing you know, you almost felt bad, taking his money. But he didn't care. He's like, Have a good day, go get some lunch, you know, whatever. Like he was old school that guy. And like when we're getting ready to close, a lot of those people were coming back because they knew and they want to stay some more. And so you just felt bad when you found out that Mr. Boehner passed away? Because we're like, kind of asked Ron, have you seen Mr. Ball? And I haven't. It's kind of weird that he hasn't showed up yet. Right? Because you would expect them to be. And then we found out he passed away. And then there was another family who the one guy had been coming there for 30 years. His dad had been coming there since the hotel opened. And he's the guy that handed out 200 bucks to everybody. The day the hotel closed. I mean, he just walked around. Boom here for you. For you, for you for you. I mean, yeah, he was the last guy in the craps table. There was some famous guy that tried to beat him out of it. And then the all the dealers and everywhere like no, he gets the dice last. So we get to throw the last Wow. So because they knew this is that family, they've taken care of us for decades. This is who you know, Rose. I mean, people would throw $100 chips on Read This Before we knew clothes, they throw $100 chip on roses tray. Like rose, I can get my own drink, take a break.

Just like I said, She's this sweet old lady every Christmas she would come she had like a car full of presence and that was for customers. But that she had known them forever and knew their kids and everything. And we would help her mail them and all that kind of stuff. So all about relationships, and that's why that hotel was kick ass. And that's why I'm really glad I got to go there. Even later when I after I got laid off and stuff. I had gotten offers to go back And it wasn't going to be the same a buddy of mine that worked with the middle of night he got a job in Summerlin, there was like a in the suburbs like a local but a fancy one with a golf course and stuff. And he gotten that job and it was cool. He wanted me to come work there. I'm like, I don't want to live here anymore. And then I hadn't been able to find a job. And finally, I was like, What's up West? I was like, Well, I'm either gonna get this job or not, and they hadn't called me back, you know, we'll let you know in two weeks, whatever. And I'm like, three weeks later, I'm like, Listen, I'll try to be a jerk. But if you don't want me to do this, that's fine. I I got another job offer in Vegas. I have to take that because I have to do something. I can't not do this. And then they come back the next day, like, oh, no, no, no, you're gonna be a stewardess.

Matt Sodnicar 30:47
So Whoa. So back up just a second. So what was the Where did southwest get on your radar? even apply for

Chris Sullivan 30:56
it? Well, I started dating a girl when I lived in Phoenix. So even before I went to Vegas, and I went to Vegas to work my dad, I got a pool service in Vegas, or in Phoenix for several years, while I was in the Army Reserve and stuff. And that was my job I took care of and fixed. Like, I had 100 pools that I took care of every week. And then I had, you know, like it worked for a company like subcontract where I fixed them and stuff. And then if you got a new one, I would get it going well, then I was out at a bar with my brother, and and some of our friends. And they were, I don't know why you're like 25 or something dumb. And you're just like, somebody said, use code names. I have no idea. I don't know who it was. And that's always a good idea. I mean, it's always a good idea and fun. But yeah, I guess even at my age now, but the It wasn't me one of those guys did. And my brother Andrew had come up, like, just off top of his head with Tom O'Reilly. And he would always like, Hi, Tom, Tom O'Reilly kind of like Bond, James Bond, whatever. But he would just like talk, Tom. All right. And we're at this, like, it was on Mill Avenue in Tempe, you know, college kids go on whatever, shooting pool. We go there all the time. And then I heard my brother introduce himself to these girls behind me. And there's another set of brothers that are there and a couple other friends of ours. And then he says, oh, and I knew he had introduced himself as that. And he turns out, oh, have you met my brother? Why didn't have an alias at the time. So I just said Pete. Pete O'Reilly. Right. So since like, 1995, my alias has been Pete O'Reilly. And we got Tom O'Reilly and Pete O'Reilly Right. But it worked. And then of course, the one that the one girl I end up talking to the most. She's just like, that's not really your name is like, oh, yeah, she let me see your ID, I gotta bring my ID. But we come here all the time. I don't even bring my license. I need my my wallet, which I didn't write. I had my license in my pocket, right? I have a wallet. And she's just like, really? And they're like, Yeah, ask any of them what my name is? Just walk over there. And they know of course they did. And then then I ended up dating her for four years. And about halfway through, she became a flight attendant. And so she was one of those happens all the time. Well used to I don't know. But now, where did it say you and I go? Because you don't want to go the interview by yourself. Right? So my buddy did it with his daughter. She didn't want to go by yourself. Oh, and so my buddy went, he got the job. She didn't. So instead of hiring this super cute like 21 year old girl who's be perfect. You hire this old curmudgeon II guy who was like, I don't know 45 At the time, right? Because he just retired last year after 20 years, he and 19 years, I guess whatever. But he, he his job. Were my friend or my girlfriend, she went because her friend and one go by yourself and then she gets a job Hunter friend. So for a couple years, she's 510 and then I got that job up in Vegas and had to move and then it was kind of that whole thing and I didn't really understand the commute and stuff and I was like well I had a much better job than she did. I made way more money than she did right parking cars in the middle of the night and doing all kinds of whatever things that I had to do to make some money only a couple of slightly illegal things but no drugs or any of that kind of shit. So um you know it's Vegas but anyhow, then

Matt Sodnicar 34:24
we had hard stuff on there's one more store that I think we need the 10,000 square foot sweet. Oh, we can get back so yeah,

Chris Sullivan 34:31
she would come to visit honor overnights, she would come to visit on overnights and she liked my job because I mean, we had hookers coming in there. And they're like, models like wow, there was this one girl back when the accurate NSX was a sweet car. Oh yeah, brand new car. And she had one of those and she was just the statuesque like kind of island Pacific. Asian whatever. Woof and She wore these amazing dresses and she'd get every time she would get out of the car and I'd hold the door for it and she'd walked behind me and like rubber boobs on my back. And I just feel like you're killing me. And she goes, I know, I know. And I forget what her name was, but I told her one time I go, you know, I make a good living. I wonder I go, you can marry me and just sleep with me. And she's lashes. I will keep that in mind. Oh, girlfriend hated the job. Right. But she would come over on overnights because they put them up at like Circus Circus, which is a dump down the street. If you have a clown fear or

Matt Sodnicar 35:31
Kallo Yeah, that.

Chris Sullivan 35:34
That is not the place to go. I've been there forever. I don't even know it's still standing by that place.

Matt Sodnicar 35:38
Woof. That's a disaster. Hey,

Chris Sullivan 35:41
so that's why like we would work at our hotel and be like, Wait a second. You guys are the people will come like when we're gonna close. They drop the rates a bunch. And people come in and would complain. All this and I go, Listen, you're like Circus circus people, you should be down the street. This place is a five star hotel. And the fact that you got it for 99 bucks. You are making out like a bandit. So you should just enjoy what you're getting here. Because you're probably never seen anything like that. So she would come down overnights hang out. Because we have AMPM crews, right. So the hammer is going to work in the morning, blah, blah, blah. So pm crews get done late and you usually go have a couple drinks. So she would come down. And then I would conveniently time my breaks. Right? So I would just you're a smart guy. Yeah, I'm not I'm not as dumb as I look. Most of it. So she would come down and I would tell on the front desk girls, I usually scope it out ahead of time, I could look to see what rooms were empty and stuff. And we had these 10,000 square foot rooms that had their own pools and pool table rooms. And just it was a house. Yeah, they're like it's a 10,000 square foot room. If you want to think of it that way. Yeah, go there were 3005 1000 and all that kind of stuff. But you know, depends on what was available. But there's couple times when the 10,000 square foot room I'm like, I'm going to lunch, wink, wink. And then away we go an hour. So come back later. We're like, alright, lunch is over. And housekeeping guys make up, whatever. But only that room. We only went to that room, whatever. So, you know, it wasn't so bad. And I don't know, the valet booth a couple times. That was fun. Because anybody could just open that door. Sit right there, like Hello. But yeah, she's like, why I ended up when I got laid off and all that kind of stuff. And I moved back to Phoenix. And I was trying to figure stuff out, because that was kind of when relationship with her was getting really weird, whatever, because she wouldn't move up there. Oh, um, and I remember my brother, like blurting it out at dinner is the three of us. And he just goes, you ask her yet I go at dinner at a restaurant. And I was like, Dude, I talked to her about that later. He's like, ask me what then I'm like, Oh, God, I tell I go, Well, I figured it's maybe good. Move up here for a couple months, and then see the commuting thing because I didn't know how that work. Now I know it would have been a joke. So she just burst out crying. And then like runs away from the table. I was like, dude, sorry, man. I didn't think it was gonna go that way. You're not the only one. And then it just never happened. Whatever sign up back there. I'm trying to like, you know, make it work. And then I applied for a bunch of different jobs. And then eventually, I got the job at Southwest now I almost didn't get it because I went to do the drug test. never done drugs my entire life. Right? Go drink a bunch of water, you know, cuz I want to make sure that I pee when I get there, whatever. And of course, I'm waiting. Wait, wait, and I finally have to go, lady, listen, I'm sorry. But if I don't go next couple minutes, I'm pee my pants. And she's like, so I'm like, okay, whatever. So I go in the bathroom. Sure enough, Sue's I come out, they call my name. Luckily, I had a gallon of water, so I still could make it happen. Well, then I go back and I'm looking at the paperwork. You know. I mean, we had internet, but come on, it was like brioche, you know, whatever. CDN, that kind of thing. And so we I'm looking at the paperwork that I fill out for these different jobs. And I look at this southwest one and I go I don't think that's right. So I called Southwest and I go hey, you know, cuz she was the one encouraged me she'd apply for Southwest and I was looking at the ramp on the ground, but they don't make squat they still don't I mean, under they're underpaid those guys and so I was like, I'll use more money in Gatorade per hour than I would make working on the concrete in downtown Phoenix airport in the summertime. You're insane. And so I mean, already worked outside of the pool guy for years. I knew what this meant, and then I could jump in the pool. So I was like, well, flight attendant, all right. You make $14 and like 58 cents or whatever it was an hour which is complete garbage but still that was better than ramp. And so like I said, the paper didn't look right. I called southwest. And the lady puts me on hold after I read it to her and she's then she comes back. She's like, Yeah, you need to go do it again. And I'm like, Ah, my, alright, so I go. I said, Listen, last time I had, you know, it's like the jersey kid, or I'm not trying to be jerk, but I'm just like, listen, last time I had to do this. I'm not doing that again. And the lady's like, Okay, well, they'll put you in first all kind of stuff. And I get there, and the lady that runs the Testing Center, whatever. She's like, I'm really sorry, that happened. We're really busy. And I just pulled the wrong paperwork and all that kind of stuff. So my guy, right, so I do it, it's fine. I know I'm gonna pass. Right. I don't worry about it.

Well, the funny thing is that the paperwork looks identical, right? But it's kind of like that carbon copy thing. Oh, in one section of it, where it's supposed to who it's supposed to go to. It said America, West Airlines. Not southwest right. Now, I didn't know before. I'm like, I don't know. Maybe they use the same thing. Like I don't know. They share testing. I have no idea. No, it was wrong. Right. So it's brown paperwork. Well, about a week later, I get a call from America, West Airlines, who, you know, became USA and all that good stuff. I never applied in America West and that kind of shit. And they're like, We would like to offer you a position as a flight attendant at America, West Airlines. And I was like, what? I don't even apply, like, whatever. So a buddy of mine who I knew since I first moved, there were young kids working at a pizza joint together and living in the same apartment place. I went out and tried to save his car when it was getting repoed one night, you know, this is a good guy still lizard. He's got like, four kids or whatever now, but he was afraid to fly. And he was from Chicago. So when I would take him to go, like, give him a ride to the airport. You know, he, I'd have to go like the joke was he'd like bring me some alcohol and I buy him like a bottle of wine and a doughnut because like breakfast, for like 711 and my Hey, go. But he would drink it and eat it right and just go to the airport and get buzzed up. Well, he ended up getting his license later, and then became a supervisor at America West. So I call him up and I'm like, Dude, what the fuck is going on? I go, I I don't even apply for this job. And I get a call gonna explain what happened. He goes, dude, we will take anyone that passes a drug test. And I was I was great, that's very safe for you to know, at least as long time ago. Now. They don't even operate anymore. But yeah, they would take anybody, but and then you know, I got the job. But because of that delay, I got pushed in another class, you know, because they do the classes every so often. So now my class was going to be 191, you know, the number out of starting on September 10. of 2001. So, if you get your calendar, you can figure out what the next day was. So we take our little test. We're all in there. There's like 250 of us in this class. I mean, we're all spread out and test the airport, everything. And then they all call us in the room, you know, nobody, handful of those 250 people had a cell phone, right? Most people did not have a phone or whatever, they didn't have TVs in that training center, they said radio, and then they tell us you know, something happened the World Trade Center, they shut down it. And now you're at the airport, and is like dead silent, nothing's moving. And we was like that for however many days was super, super creepy. And then they send us back and then they're like, We don't know if we're gonna come get you in the morning. So, be ready. At this whatever time like 730 in the morning, something like that. And then we'll get you where we won't get you. And then they got us in later. They're just like, Okay, we're gonna we're gonna we decided to keep you. You made the commitment to be here. And I And because I was shitting my pants because all my stuff was in storage. I don't have anywhere to go and have a job. Nothing. Right, and you get paid for training or anything then. And you're like, What the hell am I gonna do? Like, I don't even know where I would go. Like, if you just say, yeah, it's time for you to go home. I'm like, but were like, to a storage unit where my crap is. In a state, like three states over I'm like, yeah, and how are you gonna give me there was no, like, you know, it just, it was really crazy, weird time and like, semi classes. 191. So 911. And it was just a very, very weird, like, rest of the month, I guess. I think we left there on the 12th of October. And then of course, you didn't go anywhere for months. And it was just working in an airline when it's just 911. And I mean, I was on I was on working on flights where there's two people, one people or one person. 20 people, whatever, just super crazy weird. And I mean, there's tons of slides and they got all kinds of crazy stories because they might have got stranded somewhere to where they were already working. Yeah. And they were the class right in front of me. They got stranded in their base where they were going to be so my buddy Byron. was the one in front of me, which one I should have been in. He was like in Baltimore, where they're supposed to meet their new supervisors. And these were gonna be based blah, blah, blah. And so it was all jacked up. And it's hard to believe that was 20 years ago. Yeah. I don't know. That's weird shit in between there.

Matt Sodnicar 45:20
So what's the biggest misconception about that you hear about being a flight attendant?

Chris Sullivan 45:28
Well, there's gonna, you know, there's lots of stereotypes, right? And I always say the reason there are stereotypes is because there are people that fit those stereotypes, right? Whether it's good, bad, or otherwise, whatever. And, yes, we have the super, super flamboyant male flight attendants. And some of them are crazy drama queens, like you would expect. And some of the funniest people I've ever met in my entire life, who I just the guy from Romania that I would fly with any day, he just cracks me up. And he and I have had lots of fun, he and I would share hotel rooms when I commuted, because he can meet at a different city. And the first time we did, I left him a note now, and he had a partner for a long time, and he's left him and his name's because mean, right from Romania. And so I left them this, you know, beautiful letter, because mean, last night was beautiful, I will never forget it, you know, this whole thing, and all this kind of stuff. And then he calls me up, and he's just cracking up laughing. And he's just like, I told my partner Marty Batty, he thinks it's so funny. So then, I mean, we probably shared rooms for a couple years, and then he, whoever left first, that was kind of the unwritten rule, you would leave a note for the other guy. And so, you know, there's that stereotype, but then there's.

Matt Sodnicar 46:42
So this is why we're friends, because I was at a trade show. And we rented this huge house. And there were like, a whole bunch of different reps in there. And one of the bedrooms, had two twin beds. And so everybody was gonna go out to the bar, it's like, I'll be right there. So I pushed the twin beds together. And I put a note on there. And it was Rick and Dawn, that we're staying in this room. And I just said, I thought we'd have more fun this way. And I didn't sign it. Get back, if the other one would have done it. So this is why you and I get along. So well now

Chris Sullivan 47:22
is it it's lots of fun. I mean, there's, there's a lot of nice people, it's just like any other job, you know where that we have like 17 plus 1000 flight attendants now, so it's getting really big. We're obviously it wasn't like that when I first started. But we you know, I try to explain to my female friends why I'm 52 non married, never went to any of that. So I go. This is why women, me female flight attendants get hit on all the time. But male flight attendants don't, other than by other female flight attendants. Because I have not had I've had one girl that I dated in the last 20 plus years, that wasn't a flight attendant. Because they just can't, nobody can seem to wrap their head around it. And which just is odd, because I'm like, what's just like being a business person. It's just I actually work on the plane. And when I get there, I can do whatever I want. They fly on the plane, then they got to go to work. Go. And you can go anywhere that so the people that never win if you look at any dating site, and some chick is telling you she loves to travel that is boosts ship. Okay, now maybe it's just me, but I have offered people like where I'm like, I had cool stuff to do. And it wasn't even just like, a get date. I'm like, Listen, my buddy got married on television, I go, do you want to go to Malibu at this estate on top of the mountain with a vineyard and horses and go to this wedding on television? Combined date? Like all kinds of crazy stuff like that. I've got free tickets that like before everything went nuts. I had tickets to the Foo Fighters in Costa Rica. I told whoever I go listen, you pay the tech 60 bucks. I already pay for the hotel, or you gotta to just go. Nobody. Right? So maybe I'm just loser. I don't know. But the the females that what it is, is stereotypically in TV, movies, whatever, over decades, decades. What are flight attendants? They're easy. They're fun. They're party girls. They're pretty, which lots of times that's true. But then lots of times lately, maybe not so much. So it depends on where you're going. Right? But then if you just lost my train of thought there, but the Yeah, so the guys look at it that way and go Well, she's fun. She's pretty whatever. And they see you in that environment. And just equate that with just like if you were man, it's a hot bartender or wherever you are. You're somewhere and it's let's just say it's a fun atmosphere where you're putting that person in there where they might be the most boring person in the world they might be me and who knows I go, but that's why a regular guy would look at you and think that he could date you, versus not very many chicks on the flight would go. Yeah, let's get some male stewardess action doesn't really happen. I mean, it does, it does. But a friend of ours watch, I won't use his name, just Casey listens. But he, that guy goes steps up to the plate all the time. And all of us just kind of laugh, but at the same time, like, hey, it's, it's the average, right? If you're not stepping up to the plate, you don't know what can happen. And he just keeps lobbing pitches out there. And he gets enough hits or, you know, bounce or whatever. Um, but I just, I'm not that person. I don't really I've done it a couple times, but and it's always my luck that I mean, I had one girl trying to shove its tongue down my throat on this crazy flight. And then of course, I have to keep I have one more flight. Right? I don't get to get off here. Yeah, and meet you, I have to keep going. And another girl like, Oh, you're gonna be downtown night, whatever. And then I realized got cut cocked back by her friend. Because I didn't know her friend was traveling with you. They're sitting on opposite aisles because there are rows because you know, seats or something. And she was super sweet and cute, and all that kind of stuff. And then I think your friend was like, we're not calling him rarity, because you got all the drinks, I didn't get shit. Like, that's not my fault lady. So, I mean, you know, but there are definite stereotypes. And, you know, it plays into that. But I think you got to be weird to have that job. You got to be weird, because it's not normal, to just walk in to a metal tube for eight to 12 hours in a day. And you know, if you do this international, it could be even longer but and to go, I have never met these people in my entire life. And now I got to work with them. And, you know, it's not too complicated. But I had a friend today tell me a story about a brand new person that she's just like, Oh, hell no. And this person really laid back. So if they're saying on the first day of the trip, the the call scheduling go, one of us needs to get taken off of this. And she's never done that in like 25 years. So, you know, it's it's hard and it's weird. And then you go on your overnights. And you

I call it a work date. Because my buddy more recent call me one time. And he worked for air Tran at the time, and now works for us. And he's like basically saying, yeah, man are fun with this cute girl. And we're having a really good time and get done with the day. We're like, Hey, what are you doing? I don't know. You want to get some dinner? Okay, let's get some dinner. All right. What are you doing now? I don't know. I'll go the movies. Alright, let's go the movies. And then whatever, hey, let's go back and have a cup of drinks. He goes, I just went on a date, didn't I? I was like, pretty much. Right? But it's not, you know, 99% of times not or it could turn into something. But I've also been on one of those that I thought was just hey, we're working. And it's better than sitting in your room alone. And then realize in the middle of it, I am on a date. Alright, well, I had this girl who she took me to this little Asian restaurant in Orange County and insisted we go there. It's one of those. We got the two little tables and all the people next to you. And you're just like, Okay, this is not this is like, they can hear anything I'm saying. It's just like really weird. And then she's like, Oh, do you want to have kids and did it? And I'm like, Oh, shit, I'm on a date. Right? I don't want to be on a date with this girl. She's nice. Nah. And then later, like is right before I moved here, because then later, I remember when I was getting a rental truck to move to Colorado. She's like, Hey, I could probably drive with you. You know, I know. It's a long drive. I could come with you. And I'm like, Well, okay. And then she's like, Oh, I got to do is get somebody to watch my ferrets. And I was like, Oh, well, okay, well, um, when I figure out what day I'm gonna go, I'll let you know. I'm like, Oh, hey, oh, no. Watch my ferrets. There. People need love too, but not from me. So. So, anyway, but yeah, it's it's an interesting life. And, you know, you can mutiny, that take changes, you don't meet as many people and then you. You start to see that, you know, you'll see the same people a bunch, and then you won't see him for years and years and years. I mean, well, there was a couple that was here the other night. Oh, yeah. So maverick in his wife. I remember when I first met Maverick here in Denver. He's like, Oh, yeah, your wife was in my class. And I was like, she was, what's your name? Tells me your name. I have no idea. Like I said, we'd started with 250 people we left with 150 The only time or for obvious reasons. They would let you leave training. You whatever. But you could come back later if you wanted to. Some people did, I guess. But 151 I'm like that The name doesn't ring a bell. Oh, she changed her whole name, like her first name, last name, whatever. But I had not seen her. And, you know, at least a decade at that point, because it has been about that long since the base of but somebody I saw recently that I had not seen in 20 years. And it's kind of trippy, because you're just like, Oh, but I mean, it could be like any other friend that you, you know, hadn't seen forever. But you can sometimes you can fall right back into something depending on how well you knew them. And then, you know, you could get good luck, bad luck. I mean, I sometimes I end up where I'm flying with people that are older than my mom, you know, and all the time and you're like, Why do I get all the grandmas like, some of them are super cool, and super nice. But you're just like, and then you know, my roommate, John, oh, find somebody and be like, to smoking hot chicks, you know, stereotypical flight attendants you like? Yeah, such as my life. It's all getting whatever. Well, yeah,

Matt Sodnicar 55:57
it makes sense that you've got 18,000 people there. 17. Everybody said in the in the job. And then the office flies around the country. And nobody has to live where the office actually starts and finishes. So what yeah, what other job would be like that?

Chris Sullivan 56:17
There's only a pilot? Yeah, yeah, that's it. Yeah, you don't don't there's nothing like that. I mean, only thing that could even be equivalent nowadays, maybe just the people that work from home, right? That work remote that can go wherever they want, like Andrews getting ready to go to Yeah, to down into Cabo area, or something like that. So. But that's not still not the same thing. Right? He's choosing what he's doing. I'm basically this is what I'm getting. And this is where I'm going. And all of a sudden, different people could trade on to it or whatever. Like, I don't think I know the people I'm working with tomorrow. The next week I do. But then suddenly, it could be gone. And you're like, Wait, what happened to Susie? Where'd Susie go? And they're like, oh, it's Jim. Right? You know, I don't know, could be good or bad. Mean? You made lots of nice people that you wouldn't have otherwise. And then there's other times you're like, you get all the steer the questions. It's like, almost like a script. Like for years. I thought about doing it. And then I thought it'd be kind of a dick move. Where if I made basically, here's my info sheet, that I would just hand it to you. Because there's always Oh, do you commute? Oh, do you live here? Do you? Whatever, you know, these basic questions that everybody answers during that trip, at some point, some people would tell you more than you would possibly want to know, in an hour. Right. And you're psyched. I you know, I don't need to know about that. I really don't. And, and other people, you know, pretty quiet. But I thought yeah, here's, here's all the questions you're going to ask me. So let's just get this out of the way. Right? You can read my bio and whatever. But I thought that somehow somebody would use that against me. And that would be bad. I didn't douchebag here, whatever. So I don't know. But yeah, so good. We got about that. No, thank you.

Matt Sodnicar 58:14
That'd be a deal breaker for me, man. Ferrets and snakes.

Chris Sullivan 58:18
Yeah. And the thing is, like, if you had kids, and the kid had a pet, I guess, but I was like, at the time. Yeah. She was like, probably early 30s. You know, and that's her ferrets? I don't know. It just sounds like a bad movie. You know, like I'm gonna imagine like me and the ferrets traveling across country in a box chuck with his girl I barely know. And then it's like, you know, planes, trains and automobiles. I'm just like, hilarity ensues. kind of deal.

Matt Sodnicar 58:48
There's supposed to be three. Yeah, really?

Chris Sullivan 58:51
You know, whatever. I don't know where Sir Charles. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know. I'm glad I didn't have that experience. Thank you. Thank you.

Matt Sodnicar 59:04
Alright, so sir, smash cut to the running store. Where did that come from?

Chris Sullivan 59:11
Well, so when I, before I moved to Denver, I was Dana girl got my heart broken and all that kind of stuff and lost weight. And just stress my buddy and I call it the miller lite and vibe, good diet, because I was drinking Miller lights, and he was drinking vodka. And we both lost all this weight. He was getting divorced, you know, whatever. So we're like, how is this we're drinking a shit ton. And we're losing this weight. So then I'm like, well, maybe I should start running again because I was always a runner for years and years and so not to the extent I became later but then so just decided to run this half marathon. And and that's actually the guy that ran it to the other day, Happy Jack, the captain for us. And he encouraged like, I'm going to run this half marathon in Phoenix in January. I'm like, well, that's right around my birthday. I'll do that. Of course he never showed up and He's a great guy, but I just on the other day he. So I go do the race and all that stuff. And I was like, Okay, this is kind of cool. And maybe I should do this every three, four months to keep myself honest kind of thing going on. And then it got to be where like, then you run all the time and you're doing three or four races a month. And then I started to do ultra marathons where I decided, you know, okay, I'm going to try this. And my first ultra marathon was comrades in South Africa, which is amazing, amazing event is that 50 or 156 is the one I've done. Okay, so there's, you go in two different directions. So it's 56, or 54. So I've done the 56 couple down the down, and hoping to get my fat ass going again for this next day changes to August, so maybe I can make it. It's like the 100th anniversary, technically was last year, but they didn't run it. So you know, whatever. Who cares? We'll fudge it. Right. Little Astrid. But, um, so then I started running. I ran at Nike town. Because I just knew there was a run club there from walking around. So when I came to Denver, what I was trying to do, but when I was trying to find a place to live was I would pick up overnights in different cities that I might be interested in. So I'm getting paid to go check them out. And then eventually, when I pretty much said on Denver, I was trying to fly here all the time. And the hotel had a little shuttle downtown. And I would go there and I found out I walked into the Nike town said we have run clubs on Tuesdays or whatever it was. And so and then that's where I met a bunch of the guys who ran with like Alex and Carl and Phil and all them. And then Phil had mentioned at one point that there was I heard that there was this one Irish pub, right? And I was like, oh, and he and I happened to show up on the same day, not playing in that we both go to that same one on the same day. And then that became history. And we're all running there. Right? And yeah. And then that went on for years. That's where we first met. Yeah, that went on for years, and then started running with runners roost the same kind of way where Phil was like, well, they have to sit this running store. I'm like, okay, so we go down there thinking that we could find someone else to run with because it was like, you know, just change it up or whatever. And different. It was on a different night and everything. I think that was Wednesdays, and the snug was Thursdays I think, yeah. And then. So yeah, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. So if I was in town, that's when I would go, and then you know, come up with different stuff. Well, we go to the root one. And then kind of joke was, well, we didn't really find anybody else to run with. Because there were the super fast kids. There were probably like 50 yards in front of us, me and Phil, and then another gap of about 50 to 100 yards of the other people. So we're like, Well, this is great, we can meet new people, and we're still running with each other. This is beautiful. So but then start run with the team there and then helping out over the years with different stuff, and then go into events because Phil ended up working there, and our buddy Ed and some other stuff. And then eventually, for me, it was kind of like, well, why aren't they doing certain things? Right? Like as a, especially as they get in more of the ultra stuff? Like, why are you paying to be in an event that you're not trying to make any of that money back? Right? Like sell some T shirts or stickers, or I don't know something, right? Hugs, whatever, you got to do something. And the just didn't do it. So over time. And it's like, why don't they carry certain products and wine or whatever. And I was like, Well, I think it'd be cool if there was a niche shop that was a little more trail Ultra stuff. And I'd never done anything like that before. The only another business I had was when I had my pool service. And that was just me fixing and cleaning pools and stuff. And so it's not like it's like, you know, some fortune 500 thing, whatever. I mean, you make a good living doing that, but not the same retail, so obviously not the same. So then, but also working full time as the flight tonight, right. And luckily, we had the crew base here now, so I wasn't commuting anymore. So I'd have to fly back and forth to another city. I just started here with India, then

proposed it to the family that owned the roost locations earlier. Super nice family shorts, and they were interested, like I was like I pitched it as a boutique. Kind of like this is a niche shop will be part of your thing. Yeah, but it's trail Ultra. But with the other stuff so that if people were coming to the shops you didn't have to care about we could kind of have that that could be our specialty. And they had independent stores. So we thought okay, so it was into that. But by the time that I was able to put it all together, I didn't borrow any money. It was just me and all that stuff. There was a new owner that had just taken over and he wasn't interested at all. So I mean, I could die at a meeting with him. He kept saying I was just like, Yeah, okay. Just didn't when he asked me one point it's like why do you want to do this and are with us and whatever. So well, I've run for your team for like seven or eight years. I go why when die Like, this is it seems to be like a natural thing. And I, why wouldn't I want to do that? And then I could just tell he wasn't interested. I just looked at my goal. I'm gonna do it anyway. And he's like, What? Are you gonna do it anyway? Smarter? Not smart. I have no idea. It's up for a debate, probably still. But then, um, and then just decided to do it. And I mean, I have to tell you, doesn't matter. Now. Statute of Limitations probably ran out. But so the. So I'd signed the lease on the house, it was on the in Tennyson, on the old house, and nothing had been done to the house, right. It was just this old old in 1896 house. And I was in the parking lot. And I had like a panic attack. And I was like, Dude, what did I just do? Like, I just signed this lease, I've got this, I don't know what I'm doing. Like, I was just like, freaking out. And then this is where the jersey kid in me came out. And I was just like, dude, one oily rag in the basement. And that house, no one would know.

Matt Sodnicar 1:06:05
No one, because the house was what, 80 years old.

Chris Sullivan 1:06:07
I was like, 100, something years old. And I go, and it's fallen down. It was a dump, like when our friend took is in there, I was, like, for real. It was a shithole. And, you know, fix it up a lot. It turned out to be great, and all that stuff. But I'm telling you that one time where nothing had been done that was like, like, on my episode, The Sopranos or something, right? He just like towards joy for insurance money. I mean, I wouldn't get anything out of it, except for getting out of it. But then I had a moment of clarity, and it was all good. And, you know, that never happened. But then, of course, you know, four plus years, four and a half years, probably after that, it's when they knocked it down. Now, it's not just dirt lot. But in the meantime, it turned out to be it was a lot of fun with the events and the people and the community of that. Because there are people that you liked, and it was, I'm not a sales guy. I'm not kidding, I won't do that hard sell. It's like, if you want to buy it, you'll buy it. Right? Like whatever it may be. If you're interested in something you're interested in, now, I can help you with something maybe to get you the right thing. And I'd rather sell you the right thing than anything at all. And I just like, I'm not just trying to get money out the door. And I think people realize that, and I think there's still a market for lots of that whether, you know, it's a local brewery or a local restaurant, that people are like, listen, I'd rather go there. Yeah, it might take longer, it might be a little more money, or whatever the deal may be, like when we would order shoes, people didn't really care, right? Cuz my game might take a week, okay? You know, where if they go to the mall or whatever, even to roost? They'd be like, what, what do you mean, you got to order it, nevermind, I'll go find somewhere else, or I'll go online. So we didn't really have much of that till maybe at the end, there was a little bit of it during the whole lockdown stuff. There were some people that were you got a little bit different clientele, but our business actually got busier and busier the last year. Two years, I guess. But then once I knew it was we're gonna knock the building down and last kind of stuff, then it's a matter of like, I mean, I went from running ultra marathons. I'm just a fat bomb right now. I mean, in the big scheme of things, am I a big fat dude? No, but for me, I am. Right. So for me, I'm a bum. But you know, and it was kind of the joke. Now on the old fat guy that doesn't even run the owns or run a shop. This is kind of weird. But once I knew I was going to close you know, to move it incur more costs, and it was me and I wasn't borrowing money. Then you have signed lease and in the previous thing that's like, I knew one of the owners and then his friends. So I got the best deal possible with a free by any means. But I got the best deal possible for what you're going to get and everything. And that was I was happy with that. But now I'm going to another place your minimum sign a five year lease, and then who knows what's going on. And the new guys are fronting the bill that's taken a lot longer than they wanted to and everything. But I just like I'm just tired. I went working two jobs, constantly. That's like, people coming in my remains multiplayer. Oh, man, I've sat down my shut the fuck up, dude. I just worked eight hours at the store doing who knows what, and I gotta get up at five in the morning to go to the airport for you know, the next three days and whatever. And I made that choice and all that stuff. So that's fine, right? I mean, I chose to do it. I mean, I don't you know, I'm not disappointed in how it turned out or anything. Other than Yeah, we'd like to make gigs, zillion dollars or whatever. But I mean, we built a really good community. We had a really good reputation. Going I could attest to that going to a trade show where there's two people. You have two employees like they came and did the Small Business Saturday once where a friend of the shops basically worked for a TV station was like we need a shop and called up and Phil was working. I was on the airplane somewhere. And he's like, how many planes you have on TVs like two and a half Well, I guess that's the definition of small business. So, not to turn our friend Kay into a half a person, but she worked there one day a week. And kicked ass. But the she's great. Now now she's amazing. So it was funny because in the beginning, like all she knew was Hoka, because that's all she were, whatever. So it's like, ask a bot hokas She'll tell you all about it. She, I mean, she obviously picked up everything else because she's really smart. But, um, you know, it was a lot of fun. We had a great time, and the community was there, but it was just, I'm tired.

I don't want to be locked in there. I don't know if I'm gonna stay here anymore. And Colorado, whatever. So it was, it was time for me to go and then some friends that were interested, but the name and all that kind of stuff. And then since the shotgun mic down, and then have moved it over to gold's marketplace of a Kipling, and are waiting to for the front to get built up. So in the meantime, Berkeley Park run a company still kicking butt, BP renco as they go by now. And, you know, so hopefully the Jackalopes live on, and then maybe my fat, but we'll be able to actually put on one of the jerseys. I think I've done one. Little cool. Let's see, what's crazy is I did one race and like the last three years, and it was in Tasmania, I did a 10k in Tasmania as as one of our Jackalopes. So I'm bad. I'm International, you know, I cannot be contained by 50 states. So

Matt Sodnicar 1:11:38
but the vibe you created now that I've heard more of the desert in stories, is it wasn't a run shop. And it wasn't a Run Club. It was just a relationship place where people could hang out, whatever you want to call that, whether it's a hotel, or whether it's the run shop, but it was just people knew each other. And it was it was the best run club I had been a part of.

Chris Sullivan 1:12:06
I appreciate that. It was it was kind of it was the goal was, you know, you can't I don't think you can force those things right has to happen organically because you know, we will go to the snug right? I mean, our table was cool. Those people were fun, but I mean, it's general would you say was the same vibe at this? nug Hale? No, no. Especially in the summertime. It was like an anxiety club. Yeah, because it just those people they would like to fit around the weather runners and they're just like the news like Dude, are they go spring by at the end? I go. Yeah, I came here an hour early and already ran 10 Miles like what is your whatever dude, you know, it's probably got a blows kind

Matt Sodnicar 1:12:42
of Yeah, that's probably the last fight. I will ever get in. Was it the fucking snug? You remember those two? cornfed? Slope head twin? Yes. Those troglodytes? Yes. Yes, those guys in bred Nebraska mother.

Chris Sullivan 1:13:04
I said it was just it was very, like City had this small group of people. That was cool, because they didn't take themselves too seriously. And it was like fun and whatever. And then you got that other stuff. So it was the whole idea is, let's make this fun and buy, you know, you invite the certain people and whatever and create, like even a brand with the beginning, that team was different. And then expanded were like, man, you go to these races, and in the past, it'd be like, where you're, Hey, good job, man, whatever, you might, I don't know that dude at all. Like, who are these people? And they weren't even like cheering for their teammates, you're like, This is really weird. And this is not something I want to be a part of. I'd rather have this where it's like said, it's a real thing. And the people are there because they want to be there. Part of the deal in the beginning was when I asked people if they would like to be on the team. I asked them I didn't have them apply. I asked people. And what I said is I listen, I want you to want to be there. We didn't make people do social media. And yes, that would help a little shop. But but everything there grew organically. We didn't by file, anything that and then the end we had way more than anybody else. And that led to some other business things that were helpful for us. But it was just like, hey, man, do you want to be in this? Hey, who's some other nice, cool people? And we got some amazing athletes. Yeah, that were like, Yeah, we run a run for you guys. I'm like, for real? Like, I can give you a t shirt. Right? I mean, that's like, that's all I have to offer because I don't really I'm working a full time job. Like, this is all I got. And people were super happy about that. And I think because it's more of a real thing, right? And we had a couple Pro Runner friends of ours that were just like now this is our favorite like, you know, first it's like a little embarrassing thing to us kissing your butt but they're like, No, this is our favorite running store in the world. They're like, this is why we like cool. This is because in We'd get like a relationship, we have a hard rock 100? And how do you get the smallest running store anywhere near here to be a sponsor of the hardrock 100. And, you know, have a good relationship with those people and just and feel like you're part of that and you're like, see, this is what I'm talking about, this is what I want to be part of. I don't want to be that other stuff. And you know, it's cool, like, so for the social media part of it. We had somebody I wish I knew it was, but somebody was in Tasmania. And Phil was working the chef, somebody in North Carolina, I don't know, wearing our stuff at a race. Then there was a Nike rep there, right, which of course, they you know, big evil company blurb, I get that. But then Nike trail shit, we're always like, we want that because it's kind of that redheaded stepchildren of Nike and that's, that's who we want to be part of. And we are always trying to pick and choose, I don't want to be everything to everyone. It's like, I want the best stuff, the stuff that we think is legit. And you know, in the past, like, every time we talked him, Oh, you got to carry these 20 shoes. I'm like, they're all garbage. I don't want that I want these three or whatever. And so this guy gave him gave, you got to check out this shop. So that rep started following us on Instagram. Next thing you know, he goes back and shows his boss, his boss starts followers, right? We don't know who these people are. And we got like 3000 followers or whatever it is. And then he decides that on his next trip go around, he's gonna stop at the shop. I like said I'm camping. The Bay of fires in Tasmania, which is just amazing. And so then Phil messaged me, dude, you can email tomorrow, I'm not gonna tell you about it, but you need to read it. And I'm like, okay, and this big, long personal email from the head of Nike trail, who went to our store and walked in. He's just him. And Phil, I guess I don't remember what day of the week this was, walks in and starts talking to two hours later, realize he never told them who he was or why he was there.

And they had already had like three beers. And whatever, you know, because this was when I'm not there. So then I mean, I probably would have done it too. But anyway, so then, no, it happened when you were there. So I just had to pretend like I was had some, you know, I was a serious businessman. So then, and then he finally tells him and he's like, this is what I want. This is what we've been looking for. Right? He goes, I can make money. And I talked to him much. And he's like, I could take make money off of Dick's Sporting Goods where he goes, I don't care. I don't, I'm not trying to make money of you guys. He goes, but this is the thing we want to be a part of. Right. And that was kind of with the race team and everything else. It has to be like, No, like legit friends and people that are going to support each other, whether you're the last person or the first person, right, and like all the different levels. And I think we got that I think there was a lot of people there, where it's just like anytime we'd get new people, some of them feel a little intimidated. Or even if they were in the shop, and I would talk to my Galician come by, they go trust me. We got fast kids, we got slow kids, I don't care if you walk around the block. I don't care what you want to do. Just come here and hang out. And then you'll have fun. Right?

Matt Sodnicar 1:18:14
I would go and I wouldn't even run. I know what he

Chris Sullivan 1:18:16
had. There's people they do that. They would come in and they just, they're sitting in those chairs over there. And they're just like, like, you guys run? No. Where's the beard? Oh, right here. Like, I don't have the snacks out yet. Hold on a second. So yeah, that's the whole thing just come and hang out. And was, I don't know. But that was the whole point. So I'm missing that kind of stuff. Yeah. Just like sit for the events and everything. That's where they made it. worthwhile, like, you know, go into the racist support and everybody, this last year, I finally got to watch hardrock 100 I would always had to go and then leave or whatever. But to be standing there with like, probably 20 of the best runners in the world within like 10 feet of me, and their families and other people and they're just all cheering for everybody. I'm like, see this is sick, right? And then that's, that's fun. And that's that's the thing he kind of missed, but but I don't miss like doing all the other stuff. Like having time to myself right now is go, hey, you know what I really think do today? I mean, I do like anybody else but you're like, oh, I have to do that. Yeah, I could go to the movies. If I wanted to. I went to the movies a couple months ago, I went see James Bond. And I was like, This is awesome. I just didn't you know, so pluses and minuses to everything but happy I did it and hopefully it lives on for quite a while and you know, they can continue that trend. I mean, just like anything else, you know somebody else's baby now but you hoped that it would still be that place that people want to go and and hang out and just be there and that there's something cool that they want to be a part of. And as long as that's going on, then that's legit. So

Matt Sodnicar 1:19:58
I love fucking with cuz I wouldn't even run I'd be you know, dress like I'm dressing in bands and pants and T shirt. So I would always get there early and have a beer. And half the time you were flying. And people, like come in like, and I just I'd be the greeter. Yep. And just hey, yeah, we're gonna go run around the lake. Like, are you running? No, I'm co captain, but I don't run,

Chris Sullivan 1:20:26
Captain. Run Club. That's our member. You were asking me that one night and it was all pissy. You must have said something before. I'm like, of course you can. Of course, you could be co captain. Whatever makeup, whatever you want, as long as it keeps you happy.

Matt Sodnicar 1:20:43
I did the Thursday. Or what night was the trail? Run it? That North table Monday. I did that once. And I got smoked, because I don't run up hill a whole lot. I run whatever. I run three miles a week. And so from then on, I'd take my mountain bike. I would be I would be the official Berkeley park trail running mountain bike team. Yes. Phil really didn't like that. appointees. Lighten up, man.

Chris Sullivan 1:21:16
Yeah, sometimes. You know, it's like for years, different people in my life, whatever. Sometimes I would try to figure out what the perfect word was for somebody, like did whatever I'm trying to see. descriptor. Yeah. Yeah. So it was surly came up with that. I mean, as long time ago, I was like, certainly, that's a good word for Phil. There was a guy knew an Australian guy from work. And I got along with him really well, but I was like, Man, what a dick. Right? Like to other people, like working man. So finally abrasive was like, This guy's Yeah. He was adjective I guess is the word I'm looking for. But he could be certainly but I mean, you know, it depends. Like everybody's got their thing. And he's a good buddy. No, it complements everything. That's the thing. It's like, there was all kinds of people there. I mean, no, in the beginning, we were both a little worried, because we thought it might be like to do too heavy. We're like, what are we supposed to do? I'm like, trying to make this what it is. You don't want it to be like, sorry, you can't come anymore, because there's too many dudes. Right? But then we're like, let's make it more friendly for women. So you know, had a couple different speakers different. We tried to get all kinds of different things. The same thing with the speakers, let's get something different. Let's get something that not everybody has. Yes, you can get some pro to come in and tell you how great they are, and all that kind of stuff. But you can also get the Pro to come in and tell you something really cool. And it's like stories, like when I did my son be in charge of my high school reunions and stuff. And I remember like it the 10th one had people on there. It's like they're reading me their resumes. Oh, I hate that. And I was like, dude, like, everyone has at least one kick ass story. I don't care how lame you think you are. You have at least one amazing story. I want to hear that. And I started with my friend Diana, who I went to high school with and later in college and whatever. And then she proceeded to tell me this amazing story. Now, I knew a lot of her stories because I known her for a long time. But I was like, tell me that because there was a couple people that I said this to and then Diana told us a story. And I was like, yes. Right? See, this is what I'm talking about. And then the other people open up and they started telling us crazy stuff. I'm like, See, I would never know that about you. I don't care what degree you got from whatever I mean, that can be interesting in context, but I go but what was her story? Oh, I don't even remember but she did she end up doing like documentary films like later. In the last like decade. She was thinking Cambodia and Thailand and doing all this crazy stuff. So you know, very interesting people. And one of the guys I remember, I don't remember his story, but he's like a hedge fund guy. Right? So you don't think he's gonna be whatever and same thing I told my Lord tell me a really good story. And I remember him just telling me this super funny thing. I go see this all the time. I tell everybody that story, right. It's friggin great. And he's like, Hey, right. And I was like, Yeah, this is why this is fun. Because in that's why I think people don't like go into like reunions and crap like that. They feel like borings boring. And what if I haven't, I'm not a millionaire. I'm not a movie star, you know, whatever. I don't know. And so, you know, and then I tried telling just stupid stories, like when I was parked cars, Vegas and just whatever, had my pool service dumb shit that happened there, whatever. And people are like, Oh, okay, and then they open up some more so I think that whole thing with the Run Club was you could be yourself and be goofy and be fun and do whatever and I mean, there were lots of nights where he had like kick them out. Like dude is 10 o'clock go home. Right the football games over now because like, you know, a lot of times on Thursdays they had like a football game on or something Go home. And then Phil get mad sometimes because he's like, I've been there all day. Yeah. And like, you can go home, I'll clean up, whatever, I'll kick these clowns out. But then there are nights that I wasn't there that I'd made a shot ski and I made a pint board. I think I'm the only one that's ever made a pint board. Right? So it's got three pint glasses on the snowboard. And there are times when I would see the pictures and videos later because I wasn't there. And I was like, oh, wait a B. One. I think it was like Super Bowl. They were shotgunning beers, but they were using ice axes. To I'm like, Dude, this is gonna go through the can into somebody's hand. Do it in the alley where it's not my property where I don't get sued and all this kind of stuff. But I was like, okay, um, you know, there's gotta be a line. Somebody has to be the adult say no. But, you know, lots of fun stuff.

Matt Sodnicar 1:25:55
We still have got to do the bandido cross 10k Where there's the cross race and there's a cross cross race. Yeah, it'd be a lot of fun cycle cross cross country. That's yeah, so

Chris Sullivan 1:26:07
when bandido cross? No, wait, when was it? It was Halloween? Halloween. So it was October? Yeah, I was gonna I was like, yeah, so Alright, so we'll just assume next October that there's going to be a double. Alright. Alright. Can make it happen. Make it happen. But

Matt Sodnicar 1:26:25
yeah, it's cool. Nice job, dude. Thanks. Look for silly on a flight. Yeah, I got no place to send people to

Chris Sullivan 1:26:36
Don't fucking bother me. Now I've had people that flight attendants and other people on my flight or I mean, I'm regular people, runners and all the stuff on my flights that you know, one guy come out of the bathroom once and like looking at me, and I'm in the front. I'm like, what are they looking at? What's your name? And I was like, Chris, he's like, Oh, you last name. And I told him he goes, Yeah, I went to high school with you, dude. You know, whatever. So I mean, you never heard you're gonna run into I ran into a kid that last time I had seen him. This is years ago now. But last time I'd seen him. He was probably like, five feet tall. And it was the last day when I moved from Ohio to New Jersey when I was a kid. Our friends came before we got on the airplane on Halloween. And I got trouble because I remember playing football and I had like grass stains all over my nice dress pants. My mom was all pissed because you know you're supposed to dress up to be on a plane. But then I was talking this kid on the plane and he finally goes. Do you brother Steven? I go. No. I mean, Scott. He asked. I go No. I said I had 10 Brothers and sisters. I go. None of them name Scott. I go, but I do have Steven. He goes That's it. That's it. He's like, Dude, you lived in a red brick house. You went to this gift. 10 brothers and sisters. Yeah, my dad had 11 kids. So yeah, sorry, you gotta pay extra for that podcast.

Matt Sodnicar 1:27:58
That'll be part two. I want to go drink some beer.

Chris Sullivan 1:28:03
Yeah, my dad. So crazy. So seven and then four. I'm the oldest of the four. And yep, my mom had all boys.

Matt Sodnicar 1:28:17
Cobain's most job buddy Thank you.

Chris Sullivan 1:28:19
Thanks all right. It's acceptable.

Matt Sodnicar 1:28:22
Oh nice work I

Chris Sullivan 1:28:26
don't have to have my agent call for my residuals

Matt Sodnicar 1:28:29
Yeah. Just send me your your Bitcoin

Chris Sullivan 1:28:33
account give me like so this guy Dave. I worked with. I still worry that a Baltimore retired New York city cop. He's not recording anymore, right, cuz Well, let me

Matt Sodnicar 1:28:45
stop it. Sorry listeners. Talk to you later.