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Betting on bedding

Owners of Arctic Liquors open new mattress store in Elk River Crossing

— Interested in a nightcap? Harris Greene and Joe Armstrong can cover both ends of the proposition for you.

The two men opened Arctic Liquors in January 2000 in the Elk River Crossing shopping center on Steamboat’s west side. This month they opened a new store, Mountain Mattress and Bedroom, next door.

Customers can pick up a special liqueur and a new mattress and box spring set, all in one stop.



All right. That’s not exactly what they had in mind when they planned their new store.

“The idea behind it is that there are a lot of people in the valley who cannot afford to shop at some of the furniture stores in town,” Armstrong said. “They end up getting in the car, spending a night in Denver and dragging all the stuff back home.”



The men reasoned that most Steamboat residents spend more time in bed than they do on their skis — they ought to be willing to invest in a better bed. They also hope they’ve achieved price points in the store that will encourage more people to shop for a new bed at home and pass up on that trip to Denver in favor of another day on the slopes of Mount Werner.

Greene said he and his partner have always wanted to expand their retail operations, but showed restraint until they were certain their liquor store would be successful. With three years under their belts, their 30th birthdays behind them and both looking forward to the arrival of second children, they decided the time was right to expand.

Armstrong said the two partners acted on a conviction that increased availability of goods and services in West Steamboat will be good for all of the businesses in the area. The more reasons you can give residents of Heritage Park, Steamboat II, Silver Spur and soon, West End Village, to shop on the west side, and not fight traffic to shop on the other side of town, the better, he said.

Armstrong and Greene set out with the intent of creating a store that sold mattresses and box spring sets exclusively. They said Elk River Crossing owners Robert Ellsworth and Byron Chrisman

worked closely with them on an affordable rent per square foot. Still, when they fed the numbers into their business plan, they realized they would have to expand their merchandise line to include bedroom furniture.

They researched Denver prices for furniture and landed on a retail price of $499 for a bed. The next step was to visit the furniture shows and look for quality beds that would allow them to sell most of their line for that single price.

Visitors to the store will find sleigh beds, mission style beds, and rustico Mexican style beds all for $499. The price includes delivery.

“It makes shopping here extremely simple,” Armstrong said.

There are exceptions to the $499 rule — the peeled aspen log beds are in the $1,000 range, but still less than many comparable beds for sale in Steamboat, Armstrong said. Customers who have a more elaborate bed in mind are encouraged to browse the catalogs at the store — Mountain Mattress is happy to order beds that aren’t on the display floor.

In the week they’ve been open, the partners said sales have exceeded their expectations. Pillow-top mattress and box spring sets begin at $399. They are also getting a good response to their wood frame futons priced at $250, including a spring mattress. For another $50 to $100, customers can walk out with a classy fabric cover for the futon.

Mountain Mattress and Bedroom is open 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. six days a week and 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sundays.


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