Big Bear Business Celebrates 30 Years
Big Bear Lake, CA – Business survival in a region vulnerable to earthquakes, forest fires, road collapses and other calamities can be a challenge but secure self-storage owner Karin Rau has been through it all and is still going strong. Recently featured in the popular television show, Storage Hunters, Big Bear Self Storage is celebrating 30 years in business under the same ownership.
Rau said, “My love of Big Bear began when we bought a cabin back in 1971. After researching business opportunities in 1980, we decided to open a self storage business in the area. At that time it was still a fairly new type of business. What I like about living and working in Big Bear is that it allows me to get out and enjoy nature on a daily basis.”
Self storage enthusiasts believe that the first inklings of public storage traditions may have roots in ancient China when people buried their belongings within clay urns that were then placed in underground “storage” areas but one of the early facilities in the USA might be the facility established in 1958 by the Collum Family of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Big Bear Self Storage was the first full service secure storage facility on the mountain. Once a partnership, Rau became the sole proprietor in 1995 and still commutes to and fro daily–an enviable 15 minutes on the scenic lakeside highway.
Springing up from a simple dirt lot in 1980, today the clean, fire safe, self storage location features 113 units ranging in sizes from the 5′ x 5′ to 10′ x 25′. Tenants like that the unit ceilings are eight usable feet and that there are no gaps between them which keeps everything secure and clean.
Although living in a four season resort has its challenges, maintenance supervisor Dana Hanson has been working hard to keep things in tip top shape since 2005. The tenants benefit since all units are accessible 365 days a year from 7am until 7pm and everything is contained within a secured property complete with motion detection lights and surveillance cameras.
When asked about her secret to business success, Rau said, “Business in the Big Bear area can be tough but we are always busy with repeat customers and the local word of mouth has new people coming in regularly. We take pride in the quality of our facility and the fact that people really appreciate it by sending their referrals.”
As a business owner, Rau is efficient and to the point, but her softer side comes out in her love of canines. Throughout her life Karin Rau has remained passionate about dog rescue which is why the Big Bear Self Storage has a long history of mascots.
Today’s current gal is Sugar, a pit bull, who is known by both tenants and residents across the valley. When not at the self storage facility, both Karin and Sugar can be seen walking lakeside enjoying the outdoors.
Big Bear Self Storage is located at 624 W Country Club in Big Bear City, CA and is a member of the Fawnskin Chamber of Commerce. For storage rental, document shredding or more information, call Karin Rau at (909) 585-2498.