New video store opens

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Small towns such as Hayden typically don't attract big-name businesses. So if residents want a service locally, they often end up providing it themselves.

That is the case with Aaron and Elizabeth Perry, who opened A&E Video at 117 W. Jefferson Ave. about two weeks ago.

"After living here for two years, it got relatively old driving to Steamboat or Craig to rent videos," Aaron Perry said.

Realizing that others in Hayden probably felt the same way, the couple devised a business plan for a movie and game rental store last fall. The received a loan for the business in April, and settled in a space several doors down from the Food Mill Restaurant.

The store carries mostly DVDs, which are less expensive and harder to break than VHS tapes. But Aaron Perry is willing to carry more tapes if that's what residents request.

"Whatever Hayden wants, I'll carry," he said.

The Perrys have focused on ordering newer release dramas, comedies and action films. There also are sections for children's movies and Xbox and PlayStation games.

It costs the Perrys the same to purchase old titles as new titles so for now they are keeping new films -- those that people are most likely to rent -- on the shelves. However, Aaron Perry is open to requests for independent and older movies.

"As I get more feedback, I'll start adding more titles," he said.

Adult films are one genre that the Perrys won't offer at A&E Video. For one thing, the films would make the couple's business insurance more expensive, but mostly they just want to project a family friendly image, Aaron Perry said.

With the store's doors open less than a month, Aaron Perry is still trying to figure out the movie tastes of his customers. While he expected Academy Award-winning films such as "Mystic River" to be popular rentals, it turns out he can't keep movies such as "My Baby's Daddy" on the shelves.

Customers won't have their pick of dozens of copies of one film as they might at big-name movie stores, but they can look forward to personal attention from the Perrys, who will make recommendations as they get to know regular customers.

Aaron Perry also is up for some in-depth movie discussions for film buffs wanting to chat about the latest or greatest films.

The business is a labor of love for the Perrys, who are the busy parents of twins born May 2003. Aaron Perry is a full-time instrument controls technician at the Tri-State Power Plant in Craig.

There has been a great response to the video store, despite the lack of advertising.

But Aaron Perry plans to keep his day job, at least until half of Hayden's residents are his customers, and the store will pay his bills, he said.

-- To reach Tamera Manzanares, call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com

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