Our History

Founded in 1976 by R.A. “Chupa” Nelson, RA Nelson LLC is an employee-owned full-service General Contractor headquartered in Avon in Colorado’s Vail Valley with a regional office near Aspen in the Roaring Fork Valley. We offer preconstruction, construction management / general contractor services, and post construction / property management services. As a local mountain contractor, we have experience in working in difficult to access areas, erecting complex structures, delivering the most refined architectural elements, and installing state-of-the-art building technology. With thirteen LEED® AP/GA on staff and eleven LEED® Certified projects, our team excels at providing creative sustainable solutions and alternative building practices and materials.
RA Nelson has a diverse portfolio of work, specializing in high-end custom homes, award-winning sustainable buildings, recreational complexes, multi-family residential projects, affordable housing neighborhoods, educational facilities, hotels, restaurants, commercial buildings, tenant finishes, and interior and exterior renovations. Born in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, we have been building mountain communities for over 45 years, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch, Cordillera, Aspen, Snowmass, Buttermilk, Keystone, Breckenridge, and Telluride. Our core values are: TEAMWORK – together we respect, trust and listen; INTEGRITY – Do what we say we will do, every single time; ENJOYMENT – Be passionate and have fun with everything we do.

Leadership Team

Chupa Nelson, Founder

R.A. "Chupa" Nelson came to the Vail Valley in 1966 where he joined the Vail Ski Patrol. During the summers he took on construction work to fill his time. This was the start of his building career; in 1976 he started his own company. Since then, RA Nelson has helped build some of the most notable mountain communities. Chupa has always been passionate about community involvement and giving back. He has sat on numerous local non-profit boards including the Vail Valley Foundation, the Vail Valley Medical Center, The Youth Foundation, and Eagle County Open Space Advisory. Now retired, Chupa is a good friend and helpful resource for the company. His dedication to the community remains the cornerstone of RA Nelson.

Travis Bossow, President

Travis is a second-generation builder. He worked for his father's home building company while in high school in the Vail Valley. After 12 years in the Preconstruction Department at RA Nelson, he took on a leadership role as President and Owner. Travis is most passionate about building custom homes and working with clients to deliver a high quality home that will be enjoyed for generations to come. With over 30 years of experience, Travis excels at leading and uniting the team while providing suggestions to ensure the construction process runs smoothly. He is dedicated to giving back to the community and serves on several local boards and advisory councils, including the CMC Advisory Board, Second Wind Fund, and the Vail Valley Partnership Economic Development Advisory Council.

Matt Gwost, Roaring Fork Regional Manager / Senior Project Manager

With a degree in Construction Management and a wide variety of projects under his belt, Matt brings both “book smarts” and hands-on project experience to each and every project. He oversees the day-to-day activities of the Roaring Fork Valley Division and works with the field team on up-to-the minute scheduling, cost control, procurement, expediting, subcontractor relations and quality control. Matt is a natural leader who shares knowledge, motivates others, and creates a collaborative team atmosphere. As an avid outdoorsman who enjoys mountaineering, climbing, hunting, and fishing, Matt understands the impact construction has on the environment. He is a member of Garfield Search & Rescue and the Mountain Rescue Association.

Mike Cuthbertson, Vice President / Senior Project Manager

Mike has worked in the construction industry for over 35 years in Colorado. Beginning as the owner of a successful framing business at the age of 19, he has gained hands-on experience in virtually every aspect of mountain construction by learning from the ground up. Mike is well-versed in team building, design coordination, estimating, scheduling, conflict resolution and project management. In other words, Mike is a true leader. He not only oversees the project but he also provides innovative ideas and solutions. Mike's knowledge, experience, and approach to construction make him an invaluable asset, ensuring that projects run smoothly and completed successfully. Mike is a 4th generation Colorado native.

Community Commitment

Contributing to the local community has always been an integral part of the RA Nelson culture. This is apparent in the projects we undertake, the contributions we make, and the personal time our staff puts forward. We take a special interest in offering our time and assistance to local youth programs. RA Nelson contributes thousands of dollars each year in sponsorships, in-kind donations, and staff time to programs serving both the Vail and Roaring Fork Valleys.

Organizations that RA Nelson supports:

The Vail Valley Foundation | Youth Power 365 | The Education Foundation of Eagle County | The Vail Valley Medical Center Foundation | Eagle Valley Family Assistance | Eagle County Early Childhood Programs | Habitat for Humanity | Eagle River Preserve | The Eagle Valley Land Trust | Eco-Trails | RA Nelson Dependent Scholarship Fund | Colorado Mountain College Scholarships | Ski & Snowboard Club Vail | Walking Mountains Science Center | Women's Foundation | Aspen Rugby | The Sonnenalp of Vail Foundation Scramble Against Cancer +Battle Mountain High School | Bright Future Foundation | Children's Garden of Learning | Youth Zone | Mountain Tots Preschool | RedRibbon Project | Blue Lake Preschool | Cohen Strong Foundation | Small Champions | Nepal Relief Fund | First Descents


RA Nelson is an annual sponsor of YouthPower365’s Turkey Trot, an organization that supports education, arts, and athletics for the youth of Eagle County. Staff volunteer with event set-up and execution for the 5,000+ racers that come through.


As a local builder, we lend our expertise to Habitat for Humanity by participating in and leading build days. In addition, we provide sponsorship for events and donate appliances and materials from job sites rather than hauling them off to the dumpster.


RA Nelson donated $10,000 to the Bright Future Foundation to help with the renovation of their new office space. Staff coordinated donations of time and material from subcontractors who worked on their new office in the Westgate Building, which totaled about $25,000.

Organizations that our staff supports:

Bright Future Foundation | The Youth Foundation Turkey Trot | Edwards Elementary School Volunteer | Vail Valley Mountain Bike Association Trail Building | Trash Pick Days | Youth Ice Hockey Coach | Board Member of Eagle County Planning Commission | Coach for Buddy Werner Ski Racing | The Cycle Effect Volunteer | Coach for WECMRD Youth Hockey | Vail Valley Business Women Board Member | Vail Valley Young Professionals | BMX Kids Coaching | Eagle County ECO Build Committee | Volunteer Firefighter/EMT | Rural Fire Protection District Volunteer & Committee Member | Eagle River Youth Coalition Board Member | Red Cliff Outreach Ministry Board Member | Mountain Fair Volunteer | 5 Point Film Festival Volunteer | Board Member of the Bristlecone Health Services | Board Member for Summit County Childhood Options | Friends of Breckenridge Trails Volunteer | Eagle River Clean-up Volunteer | Member of the Facilities Committee for 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships | Salvation Army Holiday Bell Ringing | Habitat for Humanity Build Days | Magic Bus Volunteer | Construction Financial Management Association Board Member | National Association of Professional Women | Three RiversLittle League Volunteer | Glenwood & Basalt Recreational Baseball Volunteer | Roaring Fork River Rats Coach | Glenwood Springs Basketball Team Volunteer | Pink Vail Cancer Fundraiser


Our staff gives back countless of hours of volunteer time as a coach or volunteer for youth sports. This includes coaching the Vail Valley Soccer Club, Copa Edwards, the Cycle Effect, Roaring Fork River Rats, WECMRD Youth Hockey, Buddy Werner Ski Racing, and kids BMX, and volunteer for Youth Ice Hockey, Little League, Glenwood Springs Basketball Team, Recreational Baseball, and more.


Staff are encouraged to be involved in the community wherever their passion lies. They are involved in numerous nonprofit boards, from education, to the outdoors, to health and wellness or mentoring children and young professionals.


From highway clean ups, to recycling at job sites and the corporate office, we are dedicated to preserving the beauty of our mountain communities. Staff volunteer twice a year to clean up a section of highway and will go the extra mile to recycle or donate materials.


Living in the mountains is a privilege we don't take for granted. Our staff participate in a winter coat drive, ring bells for the Salvation Army, donate cans of food, and volunteer their time and expertise to local nonprofits.

Awards & Recognition

RA Nelson and the projects we build have received awards and have been recognized by 3rd party organizations. We are proud to have been recognized and are honored to share these achievements with you.

Golf Inc Golden Fork Award Badge
Award badge
Golf Inc best Ammenities 2022

Professional Associations