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Sylvan Learning Sets Sights on Denver Area Expansion

The leading supplemental and enrichment education brand is looking for franchise owners in Aurora, Boulder, Lakewood, Longmont, Thornton and Westminster.

Sylvan Learning has helped more than 10,000 students improve their academic results in Colorado since 2009, and the brand is looking to expand further still, particularly within Denver and its surrounding suburbs.

The supplemental and enrichment education franchise is targeting 12 new centers over the next four years, specifically in Aurora, Boulder, Lakewood, Longmont, Thornton and Westminster.

The time is certainly ripe to invest in a Denver-area Sylvan Learning center. Sylvan Learning Vice President of Franchise Development Georgia Chasen noted the Denver community’s focus on education, as well as the population growing by 100,000 people in only seven years.

“The Sylvan Learning brand has been very well-received in Colorado,” Chasen said. “The great thing is that families with children who have experienced Sylvan Learning in other cities and are now moving to Denver can still take advantage of Sylvan’s services. They will all experience brand consistency. The kids may have a new school and new friends, but their Sylvan experience will remain the same and they can continue to work on their academic skills.”

Sylvan Learning has four centers in Colorado, in Broomfield, Lone Tree, Littleton and Colorado Springs, with satellite locations in Parker and Colorado Springs. The Littleton center is up for resale.

“One of our Colorado centers has been active since 1984,” Chasen said. “We’ve had a long term relationship in the state and that’s not going to change. Prospective franchisees should know that if they have questions, we have a franchise development team available to talk through their area of interest. We also offer protected territories, as well as discounts to veterans and multi-unit owners.”

Chasen noted that while Sylvan Learning has been operational in Colorado since 1984, the brand has since expanded its offerings to include its STEM program called Sylvan EDGE and SAT and ACT test preparation. It has also digitized its delivery platform.

“We’ve really experienced a Sylvan renaissance since we first opened in Colorado,” Chasen said.

One franchisee in the Denver area is Christine Rector, who purchased the existing Broomfield center from a previous franchisee. Rector’s son was working at the Sylvan and knew it was up for sale, so he alerted his mom to the opportunity. Rector jumped right in, having experience in children’s education.

Another set of Sylvan Learning Colorado franchisees, Mark and Jennifer Bellestri, purchased their center last fall. Their location, which was also an existing one within the Sylvan Learning franchise system, was originally located in Highlands Ranch for 15 years. The Bellestris just relocated about five miles away to the nearby city of Lone Tree in February 2019.

“We’re able to maintain that Highlands Ranch customer base and also pull from some places that we didn’t think we’d pull from,” Jennifer said. “Denver is growing at an extremely fast pace and the opportunities here are going to continue to grow as more families move in. One of the things that Sylvan prides itself on and that I’ve seen over the years is our commitment to being ahead of the curve on education and that our programs are top-of-the-line.”

The Bellestris’ center has about 65 active students, and Mark noted that he and Jennifer’s goal is to increase brand awareness in the southern Denver region.

“The Sylvan Franchise Owner’s Association is extremely strong, which really helps owners who take advantage of it with their growth and their long term goals. It’s a strong, cohesive group with lots of skills and experience,” Mark said.

Jennifer noted that their customer market is one that values enrolling their children in many activities.  

“It’s a demographic that has money to spend on Sylvan Learning, and as soon as you can cultivate some good relationships with the schools and other agencies they’ll be willing to sing your praises,” Jennifer said.

The brand is specifically looking for prospective franchisees who have a passion for education, whether they already work in the field or if they are business people seeking a more meaningful career.

“Sylvan Learning can be a wonderful second career for a professional, something that will allow them to create a financial and emotional legacy for themselves, their family and their community,” Chasen said.

The startup costs for a Sylvan Learning franchise range from $68,680 to $159,085. The franchise fee is $24,000. To learn more about franchising with Sylvan Learning, visit

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.