Olivia's Home Furnishings, a fixture on Steamboat Springs' west side for more than six years, has closed. The remaining merchandise will be auctioned March 27.
Original owners Olivia and Denny Kimmeth sold the store to Ed and Deb Ziehm of Denver in July. Olivia Kimmeth said this week she received a phone call from Ed Ziehm on Super Bowl Sunday informing her that he didn't believe he could make the business work for him and he intended to close it.
"At first, we couldn't believe it. We thought we had one of the best businesses in town," Olivia Kimmeth said. She said the store, located at 1855 Shield Drive, had been listed for about nine months before it sold. They had interest from parties in New York and Florida as well as from the Ziehms.
The Kimmeths opted to sell their business to the Ziehms because the couple had backgrounds in business, interior design and architecture.
The Ziehms could not be reached for comment.
Kimmeth emphasized the store was doing well when it was sold. She said she and her husband wanted to open a similar store in Arizona so that they could be closer to family. They now own Olivia's Home Accessories, which has less emphasis on furniture, in Anthem, Ariz., outside Scottsdale. Their son is involved in the new business, allowing them to divide their time between homes in Arizona and Steamboat.
Kimmeth expressed regret that her former employees lost their jobs when the store closed.
The Kimmeths remain responsible for the lease with landlord Sheryl Griffing and said they have found a new tenant to assume the lease beginning in April. They stopped short of naming the new occupant.
Griffing said the Kimmeths had done a good job of developing their business here.
"I would say how disappointed I am that Ed couldn't make a go of it," Griffing said. "Olivia and Denny put a lot of energy in it. I think it's a real shame for the town. It was a real nice store."
The sale of the remaining inventory at Olivia's will be conducted by Van Horn Auctions.
The store will open for inspection at 8 a.m. March 27 and the auction will begin at 10 a.m. with no minimum bids, Van Horn said. When the store is sold out, the auction will move to a storage unit on Downhill Drive for more items. Van Horn has posted more than 100 photographs of the store's inventory at www.vanhornauctions.com/auctions/olivias/.
"We had a terrific store for six and a half years," Olivia Kimmeth said. "We're in more shock than anybody."
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