COVID-19 helps Denver couple bounce back with new business

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — A couple who both work in the Denver hospitality business were feeling the financial crush from the COVID-19 lockdowns and shutdowns. They decided to fight back, at COVID-19 that is, with a newly formed business.

One year ago, at this very time, Dustin O’Connell was a full-time bartender in the hospitality business and was starting a new job.

“They basically gave me carte blanche as much as they could to set up the bar the way I wanted, and what a dream,” said O’Connell.

That dream turned into a nightmare. COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns were a life-altering game changer for O’Connell and his partner, Thach Tran.

“We both looked at each other and, you know, we’re both out of a job,” said Tran.

Tran, who is the executive chef at Ace Eat Serve restaurant in Denver, came up with an idea.

“We have this plan, and the chemical, and the training, and the foggers; let’s turn it into a business,” said Tran.

Thus, Mile High Disinfectant Services was born. So instead of being crushed by COVID, they went into the business of crushing COVID.

“We did it all summer, kind of when restaurants were starting to re-open, and as we got towards fall, yeah, you know the phone just kept ringing,” said O’Connell.

Right now, 80% of Mile High Disinfectant Services customers, more than 100, are businesses.

“Great Harvest Bakery in Arvada, Buffalo Rose in Golden … we get around,” said O’Connell.

A large number of their clients are residential.

“A lot more of our residential business is us coming in after somebody tested positive, rather than prevention,” said O’Connell.

The EPA-registered chemicals they use are the same used in hospitals, clinics and food-processing plants.

As successful as Mile high Disinfecting Services is right now, O’Connell says he would be the first to tell you he would love to go out of business.

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