Everyone should use whatever resources, skills and knowledge they have at their disposal to help their surrounding community pull themselves at of the crisis.
With that being said, Royle-Grimes is using some of his most valuable tools — high-tech photography equipment, vast knowledge and a heaping amount of generosity — to help downtown Greeley businesses survive this pandemic.
Royle-Grimes — a music, drone industry and photography teacher at North Valley Middle School in LaSalle and the owner of a full-service imagery business, Elevation Aerial Photography and Drone Services in Greeley — has spent about 150 hours, and counting, creating an online, virtual tour of downtown Greeley.
The website — which can be found at elevationvirtual.com/tour/index.htm — allows users to navigate through aerial views and panoramic images of downtown Greeley and about three dozen of its businesses.
Users can even virtually shop at many of the businesses through the virtual tour.
Royle-Grimes provided a free basic panoramic shot inside the shops for all the businesses. And, for a very minimal fee, he’s offered more expanded services — $15 for extra still images to be included in their panorama, $75 for an extra panorama to be included in the tour of their shop and $5 for an extra link beyond just a link to their business’s website from the virtual tour.
“I’m just really trying to keep the prices low,” Royle-Grimes said. “This is really a passion project. It is more about making sure we had something for those businesses to help them. It’s to give them a fighting chance (during the pandemic).”
Royle-Grimes has spent between an hour to an hour and a half, on average, creating each of the 110 panoramic package that make up the virtual tour.
He captures about 36 32-megapixel images, then stitches them together into a highly-detailed panoramic image. He captures each image that make up the panorama one shot at a time with his high-quality handheld camera and his drone.
He also has spent plenty of time setting up the photoshoots and arranging appointments with business owners, as well as making sure every link and the other various components on the website work at the completion of each individual project.
The 49-year-old Royle-Grimes, who turns 50 on Saturday, has lived in Greeley since finishing a career in the Navy in 1992, living in Sterling for three years before coming back to Greeley in 2000.
During his nearly 30 years here, he’s developed a fondness for Greeley and northern Colorado.
That fondness translated to a desire to help his community and its small, locally-owned businesses during its most perilous time of need.
Even after devoting nearly a week’s worth of total hours on this project, Royle-Grimes is far from done.
He plans to introduce many more updates for the virtual tour, including a virtual scavenger hunt game in which users can win discounts to downtown businesses.
Also, he is hosting a giveaway for local charities to receive free advertising, displayed within the virtual tour’s platform.
“I think it’s really important, with this COVID pandemic, for everybody to try to help each other out in some way — to not look at it as an opportunity for division, but to try to figure out ways we can help each other in this community out,” Royle-Grimes said. “If we all do that, we’ll all come out of this better.”
Bobby Fernandez covers Growth and Development for the Greeley Tribune. Reach him at (970) 392-4478, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BobbyDFernandez.
Article and images source: Greeley Tribune