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On the Clock

Compiled by Kim Marquis
Summit Daily/Reid Williams George Ellis, woodworker
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George Ellis is open to giving up tradition for the good life. First, he left New England with a plan to travel to California with a few friends. An unplanned stop in Summit County resulted in a lease being signed and a new job secured. Plus, a girlfriend and the area’s recreational opportunities squelched any thought of returning East.Next, Ellis left a longtime career in air conditioning and heating systems to pursue the art of furniture making. His love of working with wood, passed on to him through his grandfather, became a new job opportunity. He left the air conditioning business for good, saying, “You can only be so creative with duct work.”He currently works double-time in preparation for the arrival of his and his fiance’s child. But, he adds, he still makes it to the crags and recently spent a few days at Shelf Road in central Colorado.

What do you like about your job?”It’s a good creative outlet. It’s a lot better than what I used to do (air conditioning and heating systems). My grandfather did plumbing and heating all his life but his love was woodworking. I thought it would be cool to do something I wanted to do.”What are the job’s challenges? “The noise and dust.” Ellis also mentioned the playful antics typical among employees at the High Country Furniture shop in Breckenridge. “It’s stupid stuff; pranks pulled when people are leaving,” he said, but admitted to enjoying partaking in the fun.

What are your long-term employment goals? “To continue making furniture, but maybe doing it for myself.”What brought you to Summit? “It was a weird coincidence. I was headed to California with three friends. One thing led to another and a couple of us decided to stay here. We rented a place in Frisco, my friends left and I got stuck with the place. I decided to stay because of the climbing. The area around the region is like a wheel (for climbing opportunities) and this is the hub.”

What do you do when you’re not working?Rock climbing, ice climbing and snowboarding.Crazy work story?”One season, a group of younger guys worked here and we decided to work midnights so we could go snowboarding and ice climbing during the day. At the end of the season, between working all night and being out all day, we were completely shot.”- Kim Marquis


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