Macedonia business will exit, stage left, by year's end
MACEDONIA – The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a Macedonia businessman to close one of his businesses, which will allow him to concentrate on his other ventures.
Carlton Guc, who started Stage Research with Brad Rembielak in 1993, said he will be closing this business at the end of 2020. One reason was the death of Rembielak on Feb. 9, 2019 at age 46. However, the pandemic has hit Stage Research hard, Guc added. Stage Research provided computer software to entertainment entities such as theaters, amusement parks, cruise ships and exhibits. Sea World was one of the venues that used the software created by Stage Research.
“That part of my life was shut down,” Guc said. “Last year I was hired by [the Nordonia Hills School District] to do work if outside groups came in to perform, and of course that all got shut down.”
However, while Stage Research is taking its final bow, the software will remain, and will be made available for free to entertainment entities, Guc said.
“As this year has been extra difficult due to COVID, I made the choice to make all our software free to anyone who wanted it to play with in prep of the eventual comeback of our entertainment industry,” Guc said. “Over 4,500 downloads valued at over $3 million were given away for free. There is no intention of getting payment for this product even when the community comes back.”
One idea Guc said he wants to pursue is crowdsourcing for the software.
“Anything in the entertainment industry works best when you have multiple people contributing to the project,” he said.
Inline Technology Services, another of Guc’s enterprises, “will take the lead to make sure the products are developed in a best process.” Guc said that Inline Technology is an umbrella company for several offered services.
“There are some phenomenal options out there,” Guc said. One possibility is virtual reality, he added.
One of those services was focusing on education and working with the local schools, Guc said. This was launched in January 2020.
“There’s a lot of great talent for Cleveland,” Guc said. “Some people just need a little access to education. We have a number of clients, Hudson High School, Solon High School, Orange. But March 1, we pretty much put that company on pause.”
Guc said he did help with the virtual production of "Alice in Wonderland "at Hudson High School, which was streamed Dec. 18 and 19.
The pandemic has not only impacted Guc’s software enterprises, but his profession as a ski instructor.
“This is another industry that has been turned on its head,” Guc said. “Schools probably are not busing to ski events in full force. Being on a ski hill itself is pretty safe, you are distanced and wearing a mask anyway, but it's walking through the resorts.”
Guc said the pandemic has been tough on his daughter, who is a senior at Nordonia High School, as well.
“It’s been hard on her,” Guc said. “She’s a social butterfly, she prefers to be in the schools. Senior year is supposed to be the year you go out and do all these phenomenal things.”
The pandemic makes it tricky for planning ahead, Guc said.
“Everything is up in the air,” he said. “Hopefully by summer 2021, we will start having events again. We are all going to get through this.”
Reporter April Helms can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org