Businesses a bit disappointed

Holiday weather too nice to be indoors

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The Yampa River was raging at 2,760 cubic feet per second on Memorial Day, the temperature hovered in the 70s and trails as far out as Hinman Park were dry enough for hikers.

Downtown businesses poised themselves for a holiday, but it never happened. People had other places to be, far from Lincoln Avenue. The weather was too nice for shopping.

Meanwhile, salespeople waited, their doors propped open to let in the cool breeze from outside.

Christie Shelton, a salesperson at River Blue boutique on Lincoln Avenue, said Sunday was incredibly busy for her and for the store next door, Steamboat Gear, a T-shirt shop owned by the same people.

But Monday was a different story.

"It was steady," she said. "I think most people are out enjoying the weather."

The few people who did visit River Blue were "definitely tourists," Shelton said -- something that Steamboat hasn't seen since the ski season ended in mid-April.

Cheryl Brady, manager of White Buffalo, expected more business than the traditional first weekend of the summer season brought. White Buffalo and its sister store, C & C Indian Art, are in the Old Town Square shopping plaza. White Buffalo sells jewelry and home accessories, and C & C Indian Art sells Native American jewelry, rugs and pottery.

Brady said that Memorial Day traditionally is the kickoff weekend for them, but business doesn't really take off until mid-June.

"I've seen a lot of foot traffic," she said, "but not many people were carrying packages."

Two doors down, the women's clothing store Mango seemed to be the busiest place on the block with two browsing customers.

Salesperson Kellie Leslie said that this weekend wasn't as busy as last year, but they had not been expecting big numbers.

"We were expecting what we got," she said. "No complaints."


-- To reach Autumn Phillips call 871-4210

or e-mail aphillips@steamboatpilot.com

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