Rummagers Thrift Store celebrates 10 years in Steamboat |

Rummagers Thrift Store celebrates 10 years in Steamboat

Mike Lawrence

Rose Atkins opened Rummagers Thrift Store in Steamboat Springs 10 years ago. The store has moved locations a few times during that run

— Not many people in Steam­boat Springs can say they sold some life-size singing penguins this month, but Rose Atkins can and did.

"We had a lot of funky Christ­­mas items," Atkins, owner of Rummagers Thrift Store, said Wednesday in her downtown shop.

Atkins said 2011 would mark 10 years in business for Rum­­magers, which is celebrating the anniversary with sales on coats, sweaters and other items through January. Atkins has owned the store for its entire decade through three locations. Rummagers was housed in two spots on Steamboat's west side before moving to its 11th Street location downtown about three years ago.

Atkins said she was inspired to open Rummagers by her experiences at Fair Exchange, a long-closed thrift store that was in the Ninth Street location now occupied by Off the Beaten Path Bookstore. Atkins said she bought her first pair of cross-country skis at Fair Exchange, after moving to Steamboat, and realized there was a local market for consignment goods and thrift store items.

"Gosh, it's been a fun business to be in," Atkins said. "Every­­body wins."

She said furniture and clothing are the store's best sellers, followed by sporting goods and household items. And there's no shortage of the strange.

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"We usually have one item a month that we just don't know what it is," Atkins said.

She said selling items at affordable prices is "all about serving the community" and noted that Rummagers serves other communities, too. She said the store makes monthly donations of clothing and other items to Colorado Women's Prison in Cañon City.

Like many businesses, Rum­magers has felt impacts from the economic recession. While Atkins said furniture sales have picked up during the past two years, a noticeable decrease in overall business started in winter 2009. She speculated that the decrease resulted from having "less working-class people in town" as the local construction industry waned.

She said another challenge for Rummagers has been an increase in competition — Annie's Home Consign­­ments, Déjà Vu Boutique and Steam­boat Moxie Home Consign­­ments and Design are local businesses that offer consignment goods, for example.

"Thrift and consignment is a huge trend across the country," Atkins said.

Not far from Rummagers, at 1125 Lincoln Ave., Boomerang Sports Exchange co-owner Matt Burditt said the sporting goods store is supplementing its consignment items with new gear sold at wholesale prices. In an e-mail this month, Burditt said he's been able to find a significant amount of new gear that, for one reason or another, never made it to retail shelves.

Boomerang is another example of a thrift and consignment business model that Atkins said has maintained a broad appeal during her 10 years in business.

"Everybody's looking for a treasure," she said.

For more

■ Rummagers Thrift Store is located on 11th Street in downtown Steamboat Springs, next to One Stop Ski Shop. Rummagers is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Call 970-870-6087 or find Rummagers on Facebook where the store has a page featuring much of its furniture. Rummagers owner Rose Atkins said those who sign up as a fan on Facebook, or who “like” the store, receive $5 off their next purchase.

■ Boomerang Sports Exchange, 1125 Lincoln Ave, has a Facebook fan site, along with a website at Call 970-870-3050.

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