Downtown Steamboat’s Great Outdoor Clothing closing Sunday
Manager cites downtown construction as contributing factor
August 13, 2010
Steamboat Springs — Bronwyn Rittner said the impacts of construction simply became too much of a burden.
Rittner has managed Great Outdoor Clothing Co., 729 Lincoln Ave. in downtown Steamboat Springs, since owner Stephen Meyers opened the store's Steamboat location six years ago. The store is closing for good at 6 p.m. Sunday.
Sitting on the snowboard bench at the store's entrance Thursday, Rittner said impacts to her business started with the demolition of the Harbor Hotel in autumn 2006, just a few doors down at Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue.
Soon after came the construction of Howelsen Place through 2008, and the downtown repaving project that began in fall 2009 and continued this spring and early this summer. Much of that construction occurred during the economic recession.
"We tried as hard as we could to make it work," Rittner said. "I believe in this town … but if you're a businessperson, you know you can only spend so much time waiting."
Rittner said Great Outdoor Clothing Co. has prided itself on providing items from close-outs or overstocks that could be sold at affordable prices to county residents and visitors.
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The store also is known locally for its colorful, creative window displays, which in past years have included characters from the TV shows "South Park" and "Family Guy."
Posing for a photograph Thursday, Rittner and assistant manager Jacob Gunville held up a character used in a window display to represent absent employee Nick Glimenakis.
Rittner said the store long has had a family atmosphere. Gunville affirmed that.
"Bronwyn's been like my mom away from home ever since I met her," he said. "I'll definitely stay in touch with her forever."
The store is having a locals appreciation party from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday before closing the doors.
"People should just come in and chat," she said. "We're pretty good at that in our store."
Rittner said the store's inventory would be moved to Great Outdoor Clothing's location in Silverthorne, but sales are available on Steamboat-specific items.
The store is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Rittner said the closing would allow her to spend more time with her 4-year-old son, Simon. She doesn't plan to leave Steamboat.
"I'll be here," Rittner said. "And I will make another effort at downtown — it'll just be something different and a little further down the line."