Home on the Range to close by year’s end
Lynne Bier has seen many changes in Steamboat Springs since opening her first business here 34 years ago, but the owner of Home on the Range feels lucky the town’s spirit has remained constant.
“I think that I’ve been lucky, because the Steamboat spirit that seems to bring great people to town has stayed pretty much the same,” Bier said.
By the end of next month, Bier plans to close Home on the Range, located at 1880 Loggers Lane. The store is currently closing out its inventory, which is at least 35% off the original price.
Bier said she is grateful for the people who have walked through the doors of her businesses to show their support. Some came to her looking for design help, and others just wanted to check out her showroom. She said over the years, most of her customer base has continued to be really great, down-to-earth people.
Bier got her start in Steamboat when she purchased The Front Page in 1988 shortly after moving to the Yampa Valley with her husband, Joe. She owned it until 1993.
“We started out more in gifts than home furnishings and then grew that design business,” Bier said.
She then opened Bartons of Steamboat in 1990. As that business and her family continued to grow, she realized she wasn’t able to run both businesses, so she sold The Front Page in 1993. She shifted her focus to Bartons, which offered more high-end furniture along with her design talents.
“I could not even count how many houses we have worked together on,” said Joe Robbins, who has been an architect in Steamboat for 50 years and owns JPL Architecture.
She sold Bartons in 1994, which was closed in 2000 due to impacts of area construction. Still owning the property, Bier decided to open a new design business, which she called Home on the Range.
“Obviously, we have gone through the different downturns with the economy,” Bier said. “We were lucky, because we could reinvent ourselves a little bit. Instead of doing new construction, when we had the big crash in 2008, we did remodels for people buying existing houses and wanting to put money into making those homes their own.”
Over the years, Bier was able to build a strong following, and when times were slow, many of her customers asked if she would be willing to do work outside of Steamboat in places as far away as New York.
“We just kind of spread out a little bit to keep going through the downturns,” Bier said. “We stayed busy pretty much all the time.”
Home on the Range eventually moved to its present location on Loggers Lane, which featured a 2,300-square-foot showroom.
The past couple of years, Bier has limited her long-term projects and recently started a retirement sale, which she said will run through the holiday season.
“I will be in my 70th year next year when I close. So, it was time,” Bier said. “This design and home furnishing retail business is a huge amount of work. There have been many years I’ve worked 60 to 80 hours a week, and so I’ve been starting to step that down over the last two to three years.”
Beir said she did not do it alone and credits longtime employees Sherry Brown, who was with her for more than 20 years, Gay-Lynne Grimsley, Megan Riordan and her daughter Paige Hayes, who was with Home on the Range until she branched out on her own two years ago.
Home on the Range was ranked in the top-100 mountain designers by Mountain Living Magazine for the past seven years and also had homes in all of the Strings Music Festival Kitchen and Garden Tours.
Unlike the other two businesses Bier sold, Home on the Range was primarily related to design, and she wanted to give her customer base a chance to adjust to her impending retirement.
“I didn’t think it was fair to my clients to just turn them over to somebody else in the middle of a project,” Bier said. “I thought that it would be better, at this time, just to reduce my pipeline of projects and gradually phase out.”
Robbins said Bier will be missed when the store closes.
“She’s definitely going to leave a hole in the interior design field,” Robbins said. “She’s been so good for all these years. She has wonderful taste and really good client relationships skills, too. We have really depended heavily on her over the years.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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