The revolving door of business

Barbara Lawlor
Peak to Peak

It is difficult to maintain a thriving business in a tourist-dependent economy. If the tourists don’t have disposable income, they don’t dispose money in gift shops or on luxury items like dining out.
In the past year, a few businesses called it quits, a few more businesses opened doors. Some did well and most managed to hang in there.
The best way to guarantee success in a small town is to provide multiple services or offer a variety of goods.
Even a veterinarian has to look for ways to survive, and Doc Joe Evans of the Nederland Animal Hospital discovered after years of using laser technology on animals, that it could also be applied to humans. It eased the pain found in older dogs and is now offering relief to people suffering from arthritis, injuries or post-surgery recovery.
Although the former Bella’s dissolved the partnership, Ross Alper owns and runs the Deli, offering much of the same great food.
A big boost to the economy was the gift from RTD and Boulder County in giving free bus passes to anyone in the Nederland Library District. Travel to Boulder was made free and efficient, putting more money into local’s pockets and less fuel into the air. At least 1,400 people signed up to get an Eco-pass.
Eldora Mountain Resort brought its plans to upgrade the area to a public hearing last spring. The United States Forest Service accepted the plans and the proposal continues to go through the process.
Rollinsville became the focus of new businesses over the summer, a revival of sorts. Jeff Rumer opened the Indian Peaks String Works in the barn building across from the Stage Stop. The luthier repairs and builds guitars and most stringed instruments. Rumer has his studio in the back, and the front part of the building was remodeled to become a coffee shop and music venue. String Beans opened on the weekends and offered a family setting for visitors. Local music groups enjoyed entertaining at this location.
A few weeks later, the Stage Stop Market opened, just up the street from String Beans, offering grocery items and fresh produce. The Rollinsville Country Store also regrouped, serving grilled food from the back patio balcony. It was at the first time in decades that there was a choice of places to visit in Rollinsville.
In April Kelli LaFollette opened a dog grooming business on Third Street, which is a surprisingly needed service for people who pay attention to their pets’ coats and skin.
At the beginning of summer, Karina and Marcus Luscher opened the long-awaited Tin Shed bike shop and Salto Coffee Shop. On opening day a large group of cyclists from Boulder met for coffee and then took a tour of the Peak to Peak to area. The Luschers opened the shop with the expectation of Nederland becoming a biking hub of the County.
Columbine Family Health moved from its location on the highway to an upper bay in the Caribou Village Shopping Center, where Columbine first began. Dr. Mike Camarata moved his practice, and his wife Chiropractor Catherine Valen also moved into the shopping center space.
HELP Towing in Rollinsville was purchased by Gilpin County resident Mike Nichols who plans to offer the same service and maybe expand his towing fleet.
In Gold Hill, the Gold Hill Inn spent the summer celebrating its 50th anniversary. Concerts and reunions took place on weekends and people from all over the country visited the place of their childhood.
The Nederland Community Presbyterian Church celebrated its 100th anniversary in August.
Over the summer, the Nederland Historic Society and the Boulder County Commissioners negotiated the purchase of the Nederland Mining Museum artifacts for $110,000. It was an agreement that was applauded by the mining community because it meant that the historic pieces that had been entrusted to their care would be protected and offered to the public. The museum will also be included in the Boulder County Hard Rock Mining Museum Tour.
Over the Rainbow Pre-school went before the Town Trustees asking for a permit to move the school into a building on West First Street. OTR changed its name to Aspen Grove pre-school.
The Nederland Community Library celebrated its second year of operating in its new building and also purchased the lot next to it for future projects.
A costume/jewelry and art gallery shop, The Renaissance Woman opened its doors above Mother’s Earth Gallery, which is closing its doors at the end of this month, but owner Suzanne Thomas said she will work out of her home.
In the past year, many of the marijuana dispensaries found fighting the red tape was more than they could handle and they left town. Their exit made way for a new marijuana company, the Canary Song, to move into the Wolftongue Square.
Also in the Wolftongue Square, the New Moon Bakery has become more than a bakery, with a menu to include sandwiches and crepes and all kinds of coffee drinks. New Moon will expand into the adjacent space that was occupied by Neapolitan’s Restaurant.
Bear Necessities, a long-time thrift shop with high-end fashions, has expanded its clothing line to include winter garb, such as pants and boots and jackets.
In the shopping center, the Very Nice Brewing Company offers custom made ales and popular beers on the weekends. The brewery is small, contained in the back of the shop, to guarantee a one-of-a-kind experience every visit.
Eldora Mountain Resort opened this year, 50 years from its first season, and promises there will be many celebrations throughout the winter, which began last Friday.
Whimsey Square moved in and out of its space, and Dog House Video moved its inventory across town: from the Caribou Shopping Center to downtown First Street in the former Across Her Rocker Antique Store, which was closed down last month. One of the front rooms will continue the Off Her Rocker Mercantile type store and is being created and put together by a partner Kelly Delia and her husband, Ian Gillespie. The second front room will be a hiking store. The couple said that an unfulfilled need in Nederland has been a place for basic clothing including coats, pants, hats, gloves and, yes, socks.