"We're both in our sixties, and it's sort of a
retirement-type of job," Ryan says. "With Gary's
background in investing, we felt fairly competent."
Mike Crom, the general contractor as well as an
investor, also joined the team.
Construction began in June 2002 but was met with
some delays while obtaining proper permits from the
city. The partners broke ground in December 2002
and completed construction in just under a year.
The $5 million facility, which opened Sept. 1 and was 20 percent leased in three weeks,
garnered prestige from the self-storage industry, as well. Mini-Storage Messenger
magazine named it Facility of the Year for 2003.
Caughlin also has the honor of being the only self-storage facility in its area. "The
Caughlin Ranch area is sort of the Beverly Hills of Reno," Ryan says. The master-planned
community has very strict CC&Rs that forbid driveway RV and boat storage. But unlike
many facilities forced to fight neighbors and planning boards, this storage center was
welcomed with open arms. The master plan, written some 20 years ago, even called for a
self-storage center. "We really fill a need for this particular community," Ryan says.
The Caughlin Ranch Mini Warehouse is the creation of Ryan and business partner Gary
Sabatini, a partner at Sierra Management, which also serves as the property-management
company for another Reno facility. Two years ago, Sabatini, a longtime friend,
approached Ryan and his wife, Lonae, about the business venture. Although the couple
had no experience in the self-storage industry, they took a leap of faith, selling their
house and Ryan's business, and moved to Reno.
Inside Self-Storage Magazine
Caughlin Ranch Mini Warehouse and RV Storage
Reno facility accentuates luxury
By Amy Campbell
Renters of Caughlin Ranch mini warehouse and
RV sin Reno, Nevada, often ask co-owner and
onsite manager Bob Ryan if they can have his
job. From the cascading waterfall surrounded by
verdant landscaping to the posh three-story
manager's home, the entrance to the 7-acre
facility looks more like a luxurious hotel than self-
storage. The opulence doesn't end there. There's
also a 120-foot-deep-by-30- foot-wide
underground cave for wine storage and ample
boat and RV covered parking.
The facility encompasses 360 storage units of various sizes, including 10 15-by- 60 units,
77 indoor RV/boat units and 50 canopy-covered units. The manager's living quarters totals
1,880 square feet with a 1,280- square-foot garage. The 680-square-foot office is
detached from the house. The home even has an impressive view of Reno.
The 35-foot waterfall greets customers as they drive up. Next to it is the entrance to the
wine storage cave. Landscaping totaled a whopping $100,000. The care and expense in
detail can be greatly attributed to the community. Homes range from $200,000 to $3
million. The facility's fašade needed to blend with the surrounding neighborhood.
Being that it is such an affluent community, building a high-end wine storage facility
seemed a no-brainer. The first 80 feet of the cave is designated for valuables such as
furs, fine art or furniture. The remaining area is for wine. There are 275 wine lockers of
various sizes, holding as little as nine cases or as many as 70. Ryan is also taking orders
for custom lockers. The wine cave, which opened in October, has been well received.
"We're getting a lot of calls. And I've already rented out one of our large units to the
International Wine and Food Society of Lake Tahoe. They have about 100 local members,
and we'll get involved in their wine-tastings," Ryan says.
Security is also a top priority. In addition to having on-site managers, 24 hours a day,
seven days a week, the facility has video surveillance and control gates with limited
access. "We feel this is without doubt the premier facility in Reno, and one of the premier
facilities in the United States," Ryan says.