My gallery was recently named as a "formula store" in a Steamboat Today article.
I had never heard the term "formula store" before as defined by the city's preliminary definition. It is true that there are 16 Images of Nature galleries located mostly in the western United States. It is also true that our product line is more unique than 98 percent of the retail items you will find in downtown Steamboat - including images of Steamboat and Colorado.
The business is locally owned and operated as well as the commercial space that houses the gallery. The definition of a "formula store" should also include "proven commercial concept." The question is: Are we afraid of being 'Any Town USA,' or is it the competition we are afraid of?
If you are offering a quality product at a fair price, then fear not, my friends. The redevelopment will only make downtown Steamboat more vibrant and increase our opportunities to be successful. I don't think any large retail or restaurant chain even has downtown Steamboat on their radar.
If we do get some smaller or even larger chain stores to move into downtown, I do not believe that it will make Steamboat any less "unique." It's the place and people that make Steamboat unique. We live in a democracy, and that means it's a free market place - even in downtown Steamboat.
Gallery owner, Images of Nature Steamboat Springs