New marijuana retailer Billo bringing a sophisticated vibe to Steamboat
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat’s newest marijuana retail business, Billo, is open in the Curve Plaza commercial center on Steamboat Springs’ west side, and as soon as customers enter the store they’re almost certain to notice a new vibe.
The retail environment is meant to be warm, inviting and modern while remaining true to the mountain aesthetic, store manager Matt Kilby and head grower Adam Nelson said.
The interior, designed primarily by Katie Kiefer of West Elevation Architects, is intentionally sophisticated to appeal to diverse customers, including vacationers from all across the country. The walls are covered with a limited amount of rustic wood and moss green paint. And the lighting design says “modern, contemporary.” The glassware products in the shop are sourced at Steamboat’s own Sand Gallery.
All of this is calculated to present cannabis to customers from different walks of life and advance the ongoing cultural shift away from demonizing pot, to mainstreaming the plant’s beneficial properties.
“We want it to be a place where anyone of any age is comfortable,” store manager Matt Kilby said.
Head grower, Adam Nelson agreed, “You should be comfortable bringing your grandmother here, even if you just want to look around,” he said.
In the case of customers for whom discretion is important, there is parking at the back of the building and a to-go office just inside the rear entrance. Billo’s website will soon go live, allowing customers to place an order online, roll up to the back door, pick up their product and be on their way in a matter of a couple of minutes.
Nelson oversees the associated grow operation about a mile away in the Copper Ridge Business Park. And one of the additions he wants to install in the store, is a video monitor with a live feed of the activities at the grow center. After starting from scratch with the plants in the grow facility, Billo is working toward the goal of raising 80 percent of its product here in Steamboat.
New store, new investors
The city of Steamboat Springs permits three retail recreational marijuana businesses, and Billo has acquired the permit formerly held by Natural Choice. It was the initiative of Natural Choice that secured city permission to move the store to Curve Plaza more than a year ago. Now, Billo business partners Paul Franklin and Jon Peddie have assumed control of the business and created a fresh start in the new location.
What about the grass?
Kilby and Nelson said they understand that their customers seek a wide variety of experiences from cannabis, beyond just getting high.
“People have many therapies and recreational objectives,” Nelson said. “It’s a very nuanced thing, getting people the experience they want from our products.”
“We have many customers, for whom, getting high is not on the list of things they want,” Kilby agreed.
Some want to treat pain, others just want to relax after a long day of work. Others seek the safest means to experiencing an altered state of consciousness.
The staff at Billo says they have the product for all the reasons people seek out marijuana.
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