Marostica, Holsapple: Loveland’s Odd Couple 2015 Bravo! Entrepreneur - Loveland

LOVELAND — When you talk about the success of Loveland Commercial, there are definitely two sides to the story.

After a stint in the U.S. Army, Don Marostica was earning a living as a teacher and wrestling coach. Every summer he would raise funds to take some of the kids to Europe. That’s when he noticed that the people donating the most were developers and real estate brokers. It was an epiphany. “I decided, as a geology major, that I was going to go into real estate,” Marostica said. “It looked like that’s where the money was.”

Eric Holsapple, on the other hand, started in the business right out of college. After graduating from Colorado State University with an MBA in the mid-’80s, he went to work first for a real estate firm in Colorado and then with an Australian company that saw him travel around the country.

Their paths crossed in Northern Colorado in 1996. Marostica had recently returned from a project in California, and decided he wanted to set up shop in Loveland. “So I purchased Moore Commercial, one of the few large commercial real estate companies in Colorado at the time,” he explains. Meanwhile, Holsapple had just come out of grad school with a doctorate in economics and was looking for work. As he puts it, “Don was one of the guys who had a lot of stuff going, so I just called him up and introduced myself, and we just started doing things together. We hit it off immediately.”

Marostica’s version of the story is slightly different. After telling Holsapple there wasn’t a place for him in the company, Marostica said he got a call one day while he was out of the office. “My wife, who was also my assistant at the time, said this guy just moved into the conference room with his file cabinet.” It was Holsapple. And his persistence paid off when, a few months later, Marostica was having trouble lining up financing for a deal. “Eric said ‘I’ll get you financing’ and I said, ‘If you do that, then we’re partners,’ and that’s how it happened. And it turned out to be the greatest thing we ever did.”

Both men are proud of the fact that Loveland Commercial has always been actively involved with the local community. Marostica served on the Loveland city council and went on to the state Legislature before then-Governor Bill Ritter asked him to run the Colorado office of Economic Development and International Trade.

Holsapple is no slouch, either, taking a hands-on role in CSU’s real estate program while serving on the board of directors for the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corp. and Loveland Habitat for Humanity. He says it’s a simple formula. “We believe in public service and ‘giving back.’ If the community is strong, our business is going to be strong.”

Marostica recently retired from the company and appears to be enjoying his free time, having just returned from a 5,000-mile motorcycle trip across the West. Yet he and Holsapple remain close. “Our partnership worked so well because we’re so opposite,” Marostica said. “I’m a Republican, and he’s a Democrat, he’s a messy guy and I’m a neat-freak, but despite all that, it really worked out great for us.” And that’s something on which both sides can agree.