Vintage Associates is the Coachella Valley’s only full service landscape resource company. Vintage started business in the Coachella Valley as Steven Burt and Associates in 1992. Steve Burt was approached by long time Valley residents and date palm growers Duane, Darl and Greg Young to start up a landscape installation company. The new company achieved limited success as an installation company but found real growth as a landscape maintenance company. The company’s first maintenance contract began in 1992 with the addition of Joe Rojas who brought the contract for Silver Sands Raquet Club in Palm Desert, where we have been working continuously up to the present. Also in 1992, the partners purchased Vintage Nursery on Darby Road in Bermuda Dunes. With the addition of the nursery, the company could provide desert acclimated shrubs and trees to their customers and other contractors.
In 1994, Al Hollinger joined Steve and in 1995 started TreeRite – Certified Arborists. Al practically single handedly changed the way trees were pruned in the desert. Al emphasized following arborist standards. These standards include maintaining proper structure and removing no more than 25% of the tree’s foliage which encourages slower and stronger growth.
In 2001, the Turfscapes division was added to provide homeowners synthetic lawns and putting greens. This division is managed by Gary Conner who was Steve’s first employee in 1992. Gary is an incredible designer and craftsman whose experience includes two years as Assistant Golf Course Superintendent at Palm Valley.
In 2002, Steve invited Greg Gritters to work with him to help him grow his company and lend his corporate experience. Steve also had another goal. Steve had been heavily involved in the community through the traveling sports teams his kids were playing on and wanted to spend more time in outreach through his local church. Greg came with almost 25 years of experience in energy development and operations as an engineer working for the Unocal oil company. In 2003, Fran Mullahy joined the company as the Manager of Business Development and over the next six years the company would double in size.
The mission statement of Steven Burt and Associates is: “To honor God and be the most successful and respected landscape resource company in the Coachella Valley”. The definition of success we use comes from John Wooden, the famousUCLA basketball coach, “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.” In 2005, the small Bible study that Steve had started evolved into the Garden Fellowship church and Steve discovered that God was calling him into full time church work. With the help of his partners, Steve sold his interest in the company and Greg Gritters became an owner and Managing Partner. The name of the company was changed to Vintage Associates making use of the good name Vintage Nursery had developed.
Vintage Associates remains committed to the mission statement and to being the best in the business. In keeping with this goal, in 2006, the company purchased Schmidt Custom Spray Services from Eric Schmidt who joined Vintage as Operations Manager of the landscape maintenance division. In 2009, in response to the serious water issues facing the Coachella Valley, Greg achieved certification by the Irrigation Association and became a registered EPA WaterSense Partner. The WaterRite division was created to help homeowner associations, commercial accounts and homeowners optimize their irrigation systems and reduce their water bills following the implementation of tiered water rates by the Coachella Valley Water District. In 2011 Al Hollinger became operations manager of Vintage Landscape and TreeRite and now Eric Schmidt now serves as consulting agronomist.