Matt Bachus is one of those people you’re pretty sure you know from somewhere, even if you can’t figure out why.
The confusion is understandable. Matt inhabits a lot of worlds.
After a brief, earlier stay in the community, he and his wife Jennai returned to settle in Evergreen in 2002, and they’ve been an established presence here ever since. They have two daughters.
So if you think you recognize Matt, it could be because your children attend the same schools as his girls. Or you’ve seen his face in some of the advertising for Tupper’s Team at RE/MAX Alliance. Maybe he even sold you your home!
Possibly you’ve attended a show of The Evergreen Players Improvisational Comedy troupe (EPiC) where Matt is a founding member and regular performer. He recently concluded a run in The Players’ madcap comedy "The 39 Steps."
Matt also regularly invades your television screen via commercials for anything from The Colorado Lottery to Grease Monkey and other products in between. So the odds are, even if you don’t personally know Matt, there’s a reason you feel as though you do.
He hails originally from Bettendorf, Iowa and graduated from Principia College in Elsah, Illinois with a double major in communications and theatre. By that time, he’d already met Jennai (herself a lifelong Evergreen resident) when they were counselors at a summer camp in Missouri. “The moment I first shook her hand, a clear voice in my head told me that this was the woman I could spend the rest of my life with,” he smiles.
They were married within two weeks of their college graduation ceremony and embarked on a series of moves and jobs, working first at the guest ranch Jennai’s parents managed, the A Bar A Ranch in Wyoming, and then in Denver where Matt signed with a talent agency and Jennai worked downtown Denver in a corporate job.
When Jennai was presented with an opportunity for advancement into the company’s marketing department, The Bachuses relocated to Atlanta. There, Matt waited tables, bartended and took catering jobs while taking on-camera acting classes. He eventually began to experience some acting success, but the lure of Colorado remained strong. “My wife is a mountain girl, and we really wanted to get back out here somewhere,” he said. “Atlanta—and the humidity—wasn’t really for us.”
In 1995, Matt obtained his real estate license, and shortly after began what he refers to as their “guest ranching phase.” They first managed The King Mountain Ranch near Granby, and then moved to Pagosa Springs in southwestern Colorado where they were instrumental in the early phases of The Piano Creek Ranch development.
“Jennai was hired to manage, and I was hired to handle sales. I spent time showing the property to interested buyers on foot and horseback in the summer and on snowmobiles in winter,” he added. Unfortunately, this project came to an abrupt end with the tragic events of 9/11, and husband and wife found themselves suddenly unemployed. However, Jennai’s old home town beckoned. And so did Tupper’s Team. “Just like meeting my wife for the first time, I had a clear feeling that Tupper’s Team was the place where I belonged,” he acknowledges.
“Evergreen is such an amazing place for families. We love the beauty of the foothills and the recreational opportunities, as well as the proximity to Denver. It has all the benefits of a small community and yet enough expansiveness so that you don’t get the feeling that everybody knows what everybody else is doing every minute of the day. And we love the opportunities for community involvement that Evergreen provides.”
Last year he concluded a three-year term sitting on the Jefferson County Cultural Council Board, a volunteer group that examines all the applications from Jeffco not-for-profit art and cultural groups seeking financial assistance from the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). “It was a great opportunity to learn about many of the arts and cultural organizations in our community.” And he currently sits on the board of the Evergreen Players.
Matt and his fellow Tupper’s Team co-workers are staunch supporters of The Children’s Miracle Network. There’s a personal connection there for Matt and Jennai. When their younger daughter Julia was just 11 months old, she developed a respiratory virus that saw her hospitalized at Children’s Hospital in Denver for a few nights, a terrifying scenario for any parent. “The hospital personnel were amazing,” he said, “To see that our daughter was in capable, caring hands was a big relief.”
With every property he sells, Matt makes a closing gift in the form of a donation in the name of his clients to The Children’s Miracle Network. “Everyone seems to appreciate that unless they don’t like children,” he laughs, “But no one has told me that so far. And I figure it’s better than giving them a bottle of wine just in case they don’t happen to drink!”
Does he see his girls following him into the performing arts? “Maybe,” he says cautiously. “My oldest, Jorie, came to see me in an EPiC performance for this first time this past August. And both girls saw 'The 39 Steps' a few times. Now they’re involved in the after-school drama classes at EP Studio One. But both Jennai and I want them to drive what they want to do. They have a lot of interests: in the past that was dance and gymnastics, now it is theater, volleyball and basketball. Ultimately they need to decide for themselves which interests they want to pursue.”
He acknowledges proudly that he loves being a dad to girls. “It’s great, participating in the whole pretend-tea-parties, impromptu theatrical shows at home, and all the activities that my daughters enjoy. Actually, it really isn’t that different than what I do when I’m performing improv, or in a play, or when I’m shooting a television commercial, so it comes pretty naturally.”
It sounds like his girls may be ready to follow in their father’s footsteps sooner than he thinks.