Colorado native Rachel Cohen has always wanted to work with New Belgium Brewing Co. and upon opening BluMarble, a glass repurposing company in Las Vegas’ Container Park with her business partner, Jennifer Jordan, the pair found the perfect opportunity.
When Cohen and Jordan met in 2011 in San Diego, they discovered their shared passion for the sustainability industry and decided to move to Las Vegas in September and open BluMarble, whose name comes from the planet Earth as it looks like a blue marble from space.
“Las Vegas is the only place in the United States that goes through such an extensive amount of bottles on a daily basis so our growing collection of glass bottles and corks has been a huge positive as well as our labor because we’ve found guys who were previously in the construction business who love what we do,” Jordan said. “Vegas has been such an easy place to establish our business.”
Cohen added, “Vegas is the best location for sourcing raw materials and everybody here is really into supporting one another and the community; it’s a perfect place for us to be.”
Aside from repurposing bottles into tumblers, BluMarble also features jewelry, vases, furniture and light fixtures. They also accept custom orders, which average around $15 per tumbler.
“You can bring in your favorite bottle and we’ll repurpose it for you,” Cohen said. “It’s a great way to turn your favorite bottle into something you’ll actually use.”
Since opening their factory, also known as the House of Blu, at 6280 S. Valley View Blvd., in October, Cohen and Jordan have gone from collecting 6,000 bottles to 15,000 through various partnerships with hotels such as Caesars, MGM properties, Hard Rock, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay, Stratosphere and Rio.
“It’s a full circle; the customer enjoys the bottle at the hotel and then once we repurpose it, they can enjoy it once again,” Cohen said.
Their latest partnership is with Fort Collins, Colo.-based New Belgium Brewing Co.
“I went to them and said, ‘I love your bottles and people love your bottles so let’s do something together and cause an impact,’” Cohen said.
New Belgium has sent BluMarble nearly 6,000 of its Lips of Faith beer bottles to be repurposed into tumblers. Twenty percent of the sales will be donated to Save the Colorado, a fund that is part of the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado.
Nick Tribulato, a Las Vegas sales representative for New Belgium, said though Las Vegas is almost 800 miles away from Colorado, the Colorado River has a significant effect on the area.
“The Colorado River is our source for the water we make our beer with and our life down here in Las Vegas is directly tied to what’s going on upstream in the Colorado River,” he said.
“Water is a huge problem in Nevada and the Colorado River affects Nevada and every state in between,” Cohen said. “The more awareness we can bring to it on a local level, the better.”
According to Tribulato, New Belgium releases eight to 12 craft beers a year as well as a variety of one-of-a-kind specialty beers each year. “Our bottles are pretty ornate because it’s a silk screen process; it’s not a paper label so it’s pretty impressive,” he said.
“Once it’s gone, it’s gone,” Cohen added of the specialty beers. “Each design is different and it’s like fine china for me; they’re gorgeous.”
Tribulato said New Belgium plans to continue the partnership with BluMarble.
“We have no plans to stop producing these bottles,” he said, “so as long as we have bottles to send her, we will.”
The New Belgium bottles are available for purchase for $15 each at BluMarble’s Container Park location, 707 Fremont St., and online at www.blumarble.com.
Contact reporter Ann Friedman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0391 Follow @AnnFriedmanRJ on Twitter.