Steamboat Springs Lately, folks stopping into the Art Quest shop on Lincoln Avenue sound as if they're going to a funeral, instead of a sale.
"I drove by here and said 'what?'" Wisconsin native Linda Heineke said of finding out the art gallery and framing shop is closing after 15 years in business.
"I was shocked, so sad. I'm gonna miss him," Heineke said of store owner Sol Ginsburg.
"I'm not dying," the colorful Ginsburg quickly responded to his old friend Heineke, whose homes in Wisconsin and Steamboat are full of Art Quest handiwork.
For the last 15 years, locals and second homeowners have become accustomed to using Ginsburg's framing talents to decorate their homes.
"He's the best there is," Heineke said. "I bring my artwork from Wisconsin so he can frame them."
No need to fear. Ginsburg may have sold the building and is closing the Art Quest store, but he will continue to do custom framing.
"I'm liquidating the inventory, but I'll do custom framing at customers' homes," Ginsburg said. "By doing it in the customer's home you can see the surroundings, the lighting and coloring." He said it will make for even better work.
Ginsburg said he decided to sell his 6,000-square-foot building at Lincoln Avenue and Fifth Street after a the Colorado Realty Group, which rents space upstairs from Art Quest, made Ginsburg an offer he couldn't refuse.
Ginsburg said the group plans to rent some of the space and expand their offices.
Art Quest's closing prompted speculation about Sugar Run, the candy and gift shop owned by Ginsburg's wife, Carol.
Carol, whose shop is in Ski Time Square next to Slopeside Grill, said she has no plans to close Sugar Run.
However, the two have made plans to take a big trip after Sol officially closes.
In the meantime, a 50-70 percent off sale, has slowly emptied much of Art Quest's inventory.
All the hand-made pottery is gone, but plenty of artwork, wood carvings, Indian decorations and furniture are left, as well as parts of the jewelry collection.
The couple is holding a wine and cheese party for their customers from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday. The shop's last day of business will be Saturday.
"Steamboat has been good to us," Carol said. "We really want to thank our loyal clientele."
Ginsburg will continue using the Art Quest name and phone number for his custom framing. Customers should call 879-1989 for service.