Sales and weather entice shoppers

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— Armed with money to spend, shoppers hit the streets of Steamboat Springs on Sunday to take advantage of their newfound wealth and post-Christmas Day sales.

Area stores reported healthy business on the day after Christmas, evidenced by the steady stream of shoppers who cruised Lincoln Avenue with hands full of shopping bags.

The shopping began early for some people, including a group that waited patiently in the cold for The Homesteader to open Sunday morning. The kitchenware store offered 50 percent off its holiday-themed items, including Christmas dishes and accessories. Employee Lacey LaGrone said the store stayed busy throughout the day.

But it wasn't the discounts that motivated Steamboat resident Robin Gilmore and her friend, San Diego visitor Karen Clay, to browse the store's selections.

"We're out just because it's a beautiful day," Gilmore said.

"We just like cruising around," Clay agreed. "And nothing we have is on sale."

For some motivated shoppers, Sunday's sales provided an opportunity to get ahead on gift purchases for next Christmas. For others, the markdowns were a chance to get those final presents for loved ones still celebrating the current holiday season.

Marge Woodbury of Corning, N.Y., spent part of her Sunday afternoon browsing the T-shirt rack outside Steamboat Gear on Lincoln Avenue. With relatives scheduled to arrive later in the evening, Woodbury said Sunday's sales came just in time for her to find an extra gift or two to put under the tree.

"You can never quit because you think, 'Oh, gee, I didn't get them enough,'" Woodbury said.

A family of tourists braved chilly temperatures on the shaded side of Lincoln Avenue to flip through the sidewalk clothing racks at Great Outdoor Clothing, where assistant manager Chris Swetnam spent his morning hanging sale signs on store merchandise. Much of the store's clothing was marked down 20 to 30 percent Sunday.

"There are lots of people milling about," Swetnam said.

Craig residents Jorgiea and Mari Katherine Raftopoulos joined visiting relative Alexis Raftopoulos for a day of shopping in downtown Steamboat. Like many shoppers, the women -- with holiday money to burn -- were looking for deals.

"We're checking the sales out," Jorgiea Raftopoulos said.

Katie Leman of Long Beach, Calif., said she usually goes shopping the day after Christmas because "most places offer a lot of sales."

She and friend Megan Burgess of Maryland flipped through postcards at Steamboat Treasures and Tees before wandering off to check out the rest of the store's merchandise.

-- To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234

or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com

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