A veteran of the theater industry since he was a pre-teen, Nathan Cox started Pink Monkey Solutions in the basement of his Vail Valley home in 2005. First called Cox Designs, the business initially focused entirely on lighting, not surprising considering that prior to what he calls an “entrepreneurial spasm,” Nathan spent five years working as the master electrician at the Vilar Performing Arts Center. In fact it was during one of his final projects at the theater when he realized his passion for event production and design. He’d rigged an elaborate lighting scheme for the inaugural “Star Dinner on Stage,” where patrons enjoyed an elegant meal on stage while a band performed steps away. During the dinner, Nathan had his “Aha” moment as he watched people break through the “fourth wall,” the conceptual barrier that separates a performance or actors from the audience.

“On the stage, in that particular moment, I was like, ‘People are actually getting to walk through that fourth wall and interact on stage in an environment I set up for them. That’s the stuff I want to do,” he says. “I was so happy that people got to get in there, enjoy it, be immersed in it and have that whole experiential feed.”

A few months later, Nathan left the Beaver Creek theater to pursue his vision of building theatrical elements into every event he produced. Fast forward two years. Nathan needed help with the company, and brought his longtime friend Michael Baugh on board as a partner. In the ’90s the two studied acting together at Ithaca College, before moving to New York City to pursue careers on the stage. While their journeys had taken separate paths for the years in between, they were happy to team up.

After much deliberation, the men renamed the company Pink Monkey Solutions, after a rubber ink stamp of a monkey straddling a tree that Michael bought for his then girlfriend and now wife, Claire, on a business trip. The spur-of-the-moment present appealed to Claire immediately, and she planned to use the name Pink Monkey for a new business she was scheming about at the same time Nathan and Michael were brainstorming new company names.

“We really liked the whimsical and carefree nature of her Pink Monkey thing,” Michael says. “Every name we came up with we’d say, ‘it’s not quite as fun as Pink Monkey.’” Claire eventually relinquished the name, which worked out well considering she’d soon manage the decor arm of the business.

Indeed, what started with lights soon expanded into draperies, table settings, furniture and accessories, which was akin to “dumping gas on a lit match.” Without any advertising, the phone began ringing. Constantly.

Over the years Nathan and Michael kept adding more services . Today, more than a decade later, Pink Monkey is a special event production company with the capacity to service every aspect of an event, from lighting to linens, from furniture to faux walls, they do it all! Pink Monkey is the first Colorado special event design and production company with locations in both the Vail Valley and Denver, but also offer services nationally, working with clients in Las Vegas, Napa, Miami, Chicago, New Orleans, New York City, Washington D.C. and beyond.

“We build one-day theatrical productions,” Michael says. “Our clients desire larger-than-life experiences, and with Pink Monkey’s creative services, that’s just what they get.”

THE DRAMATIC, BEAUTIFUL SPACES THEY BUILD TRANSPORT ATTENDEES.

“I’ve watched it happen,” Nathan says. “People who are normally relatively quiet and conservative will walk into a space that’s been transformed and actually come to life. It allows people to escape into a different world.”

While they are deadly serious about the level of detail and luxury that goes into their events, Nathan and Michael refuse to take themselves too seriously.

“We pride ourselves on finding the balance between listening to what our clients want and designing the event that matches their desires, not ours, while also pushing the envelope and exceeding their expectations as to what is possible with design,” Mike says.

From mitzvahs to milestone birthday celebrations; engagement parties to weddings; non-profit fundraisers and galas to product launches; the consummate Pink Monkey professionals  take the vision in your head, however vague or perhaps detailed, breathe creative life into it and build it.

In the hands of Pink Monkey, what might be a non-descript ballroom by day is transformed into a Midsummer Night’s Dream themed party, replete with a carefully constructed 22-foot tree. Here, in this elaborate indoor enchanted forest, attendees willingly suspend their disbelief and feel like they have been transported to a  mystical land.

WHATEVER YOUR DESIRE, THE PINK MONKEY PROFESSIONALS WILL PERFECT IT AND EXECUTE IT, DOWN TO THE SMALLEST DETAILS.

Hand-built aspen tree arches. Wood cut signs. Custom white lacquer tables. Dance floor monograms. Sumptuous silk draperies. Geometric pendants overflowing with beautiful florals. Luxurious crystal chandeliers. Marquee initial band backdrops. Vintage metal sign displays. Full size teepees filled with giant pillows. What do you envision?

While much has changed over the years, the original Pink Monkey culture remains the same: It’s light-hearted, carefree and full of laughter and fun. Their passion for creative expression through meticulously detailed event design burns hotter than ever, and yet they still refuse to take themselves too seriously.

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