Just Go Grind Podcast Episode #113

#113: Asa Firestone, CEO and Co-Founder of the Boulder Adventure Lodge (A-Lodge), Avid Rock Climber, and Social Entrepreneur

Asa Firestone

Asa Firestone is an avid rock climber and entrepreneur based in Boulder, Colorado. He often describes himself as a washed up explorer turned hotelier. He is the co-founder of the Boulder Adventure Lodge (A-Lodge). He also co-founded several successful non-profit organizations focused on introducing the outdoors to at-risk youth; Climb for Colorado, Adventure Forward, and the Centro de Escalada Urbana. He also founded BeyondGear, a social enterprise selling lifestyle gear to the outdoor community, as well as BeyondTalks, an adventure speaker series and production company.

Asa received his MBA at USC Marshall in 2012 as a Society and Business Lab Fellow and earned his undergraduate degree in engineering physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2005. He was a National Geographic Young Explorer for his first ascent big wall expedition in the Venezuelan Amazon in 2008.

Some of the Topics Covered in this Episode

  • How Asa started A-Lodge
  • What’s driven Asa to do different projects throughout his career and how he fell in love with outdoor adventure
  • The two different businesses Asa was working on while getting his MBA at USC
  • Why Asa decided to quit BEYONDgear after the tragic loss of two friends
  • How Asa found the right company after starting and failing at various ventures
  • The pressure to be successful and how Asa’s perspective changed after the climbing deaths of his two friends
  • What Asa learned from BEYONDgear and how he applied that to A-Lodge
  • Asa’s rationale for starting A-Lodge and how he found a whole in the market
  • The first steps Asa took to make A-Lodge become a reality
  • How Asa found his investor for A-Lodge
  • Asa’s experience working with a new investor for the second hotel property he’s going to develop
  • Why Asa actually leases the property he has his hotel on
  • How two adventure hotels are able to exist in Boulder and how Asa came up with the name of his hotel
  • The re-branding of The Boulder Mountain Lodge to A-Lodge
  • What Asa did when he found out there was no foundation under his hotel
  • The team behind A-Lodge and the importance of partnerships
  • How Asa convinced his hotel’s general manager to come on board
  • Why A-Lodge has been successful
  • What Asa has done to market A-Lodge and spread the word about the hotel
  • How Asa is spending his time day-to-day now in the business
  • Why Asa started a new side of the business – adventure vans

Listen to all Episodes of the Just Go Grind Podcast

About the Just Go Grind Podcast

Just Go Grind is a podcast started and hosted by Justin Gordon, Platform Lead at CoEfficient Labs and a USC MBA in the class of 2020, that exists to help you launch and grow your business, supporting you along your entrepreneurial journey with new episodes each week featuring entrepreneurs, CEOs, and other go-getters.

On the show we discuss:

  • How the entrepreneur started their company
  • What strategies were used to get the initial customers
  • How the entrepreneur built their team
  • The best marketing and growth strategies for different businesses
  • The biggest challenges the entrepreneur had to overcome
  • Short term vs. long term thinking in a business
  • The first things someone should think about before starting a business
  • How the entrepreneur manages their time day-to-day
  • The biggest lessons from their entrepreneurial journey
  • And much, much more!