Loren Vickers opens the door to the NAU Skydome for over 30 years
By: Raymond Reid
As most of both the Flagstaff and Big Sky Conference communities know, the J.L. Walkup Skydome underwent a much-publicized renovation last year leaving drastic changes in its interior appearance. However, one of the few things unchanged is the very noticeable yellow garage door. Facing the west end of the dome, the 17-by-17 foot door prominently displays, in blue lettering, the name and company information of Loren Vickers’ Overhead Door.
The door is noticeable throughout the many different events held in the Skydome. Whether it’s an NAU football game, the Big Sky Conference Track and Field meet, high school football or basketball playoff games, concerts or graduations, the door draws its share of attention from visitors to the Skydome.
“When I was little I thought it was super cool, then I got to high school and college and I’ve been asked about it, but not nearly as much as growing up,” said Vickers’ daughter Kendall, a student here at NAU.
The name that they all have seen is that of a lifelong Flagstaff resident and father of six: Loren Vickers.
“The university has grown so much in the past 15 to 20 years — it’s crazy … I’ve seen a lot of changes over there,” Vickers said. “The dome was such a big thing when it was built … I remember when south campus was thought of — it’s amazing.”
This family-owned and operated company has been providing residential and commercial garage and overhead freight door services to the northern Arizona area since 1976.
“You get to see the true roots of the town, the true makeup of people,” Vickers said.
In addition to servicing the community, Vickers’ company, in fact, is rooted squarely in the pulse of the Flagstaff, with his shop located on North Center Street near Route 66. With over 36 years of experience in the industry, the Loren Vickers name and company symbol have become mainstays with NAU Athletics as well as the student body.
Vickers has two children that currently attend NAU: his son Carter, a sophomore, and his daughter Kendall, a junior. He also has two older daughters who are alumni of the university, Christine and Nicki.
Currently, Vickers, his wife, Susan, and Carter are on the NAU postcard that was recently sent out to parents and students.
His ties to the university do not end there. He is also a good friend of former NAU men’s and women’s basketball coach Dave Brown. The two have been friends since the late ‘70s.
“I probably wouldn’t have met Dave Brown if it hadn’t have been for being in the business we’re in,” Vickers said. “To me, he’s a phenomenal guy, we get along so well.”
After such a long time in the manual labor industry, Loren Vickers still has the fire for what he does and there is no reason to think that fire will dim at any time in the near future.
“I still enjoy it every day,” he said. “Today, I’m working harder than I’ve ever worked. I enjoy meeting people, I enjoy talking to people and I think the good, basic community is still there in every aspect. Everybody wants the same; they want things to be better.”
“Being in the right place at the right time and not being afraid to make acquaintances, and not being afraid to talk to people,” Vickers said.