Photo by John F. Russell
Maureen and Dan Hebard, owners of Alpine Electronics in downtown Steamboat Springs, will shut their doors for the final time this Saturday evening. The store has operated in downtown since 1989.
Steamboat Springs Alpine Electronics in downtown Steamboat Springs plans to shut down after Saturday.
"The downtown location doesn't work as well for us because there's no parking," said Maureen Hebard, who owns the store with her husband, Dan. "We're more of a destination store rather than a tourist store."
The two have run the store at Eighth Street and Lincoln Avenue since 1989. At that time, it was affiliated with RadioShack. The store split off from that retailer in 2002, Dan Hebard said.
The in-store stock at Alpine Electronics is thinning, Hebard said, but some speakers, wires and other items still are available. From Tuesday to May 1, the store will sell fixtures such as display cases.
Doing business in downtown Steamboat has gotten costly, Dan Hebard said. The couple also said larger retailers were tough on business.
"There was pressure from big box stores, which we dealt with pretty well," Dan Hebard said. "We dealt pretty well with Wal-Mart, but Staples has been hard. They have a great selection, bigger than we do."
The Hebards said an art gallery likely was to take over the Alpine Electronics spot, but the potential suitors said they were not ready to confirm that.
The couple will slow down, but Dan Hebard said he still plans to volunteer and to work with high-definition TVs and satellite dishes.
"I had an exit plan, and my exit plan was to go more full time in the satellite business and be involved with the calibration of audio and video equipment, which takes specialized equipment," he said.
Hebard said he does that work independently through the Home Acoustics Alliance and the Imaging Science Foundation.
As far as timing goes, the end of the ski season is perfect for closing up shop, he said.
"Most people are going to be packing up their Winnebagos and filling them up with gas, if they can afford it, and going to the desert or wherever they go," he said. "It's just a good time for us to be leaving. It's our slack season, our swing season."
Dan Hebard said that he and his wife were ready and willing to leave the business, for the most part.
"We're really going to miss the customers we've had over the years here in town," he said. "They mean a lot to us, and we've gotten a lot of comments from them. We really appreciate their loyalty and friendship over the years."