Shoppers out in full force

Locals keep stores busy over holiday weekend

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— Post-Thanksgiving Day shopping remained strong through the weekend, easing some worries of a letdown in retail sales, while some store owners say locals are making up the core of people buying goods.

"It's been an excellent weekend," said Tod Allen, owner of Allen's clothing store. "The whole weekend has been exceptional."

He estimated 95 percent of his shoppers were locals taking advantage of a storewide sale. Despite the Steamboat Ski Area not being open, he said thanks to the locals, sales are looking better than last year.

F.M. Light and Sons assistant manager Patty Lindley said sales at that store also are competitive to last year's number.

"There's a lot of customers," she said.

The most bought items in the store were winter boots and sweaters, probably in response to the recent snowfall, Lindley said.

Brandon Amato, at All That Jazz, also said a lot of people came into the store over the weekend.

"Maybe not as busy as last year, but there have been people in here for sure," he said.

Wal-Mart was busy with customers on Sunday and store assistant manager Marti Leonard said it was that way most of the weekend.

"People aren't hesitating as much as I thought they would," she said.

Leonard estimated the numbers aren't quite as good as last year, adding sales in the toy department are down.

But sales are better than workers feared they could be and any slack in initial patronage is expected to be made up in mid-December, Leonard said.

"People have been saying that it was going to be a Sam's Club Christmas," said Leonard, referring to the Wal-Mart-owned outlet that offers inexpensive and bulk items. But she added it doesn't look to be true in Steamboat Springs.

The most popular items bought in the store over the weekend also were related to the snowstorm.

"I can't keep shovels in stock," Leonard said.

Holiday decorations also are flying out the door, she said.

Local Deb Fuller was out doing some Christmas shopping Sunday, purchasing numerous gifts for family members. She said she wasn't surprised stores were reporting good sales.

"I think the locals want to make sure these stores are doing well," she said.

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