New vibe arrives downtown as Ohana adds Upcountry to Steamboat Springs lineup

Luke Dudley, who grew up in Steamboat Springs, stands inside the new Upcountry store in downtown Steamboat on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023. Dudley and his wife, Emily, opened the new store at 827 Lincoln Ave. on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Luke and Emily Dudley, who own and operate the Ohana stores in Steamboat Springs and Breckenridge, have brought a new vibe to downtown Steamboat with Upcountry, one of the city’s newest retail offerings.

“It is like a sister shop to Ohana,” Luke said. “We were kind of running out of space over there and just had some new fabrics and cuts and styles that we wanted to be able to bring on, but didn’t have the space.”

The Dudleys found more space at 827 Lincoln Ave., a couple of doors down from the Ohana Steamboat location. They took some time freshening up the store that used to be The North Face and giving it that Ohana feel before they opened Upcountry on Sept. 8. Like the other two stores, the new location also specializes in hand-printed apparel and home goods.

Inside the new store, customers will find the same welcoming feel that has made Ohana one of Steamboat’s most popular retail locations, as well as plenty of men’s and women’s styles and a mix of home items. But the new location also has its own unique feel, Luke said.

“There is a little bit more of a push for some more sustainable, made in the USA fabrics,” Dudley said. “We have some different things that just didn’t fit 100% with Ohana. Of course, we will still have T-shirts and sweatshirts along with flannels, rugby shirts, with just a little bit of everything.”

The new location will also mix in some other clothing designs that fit well with what Ohana has been bringing to town, along with creative jewelry from established artists and a full line of children’s clothing including jackets from Steamboat-based Town Hall.

Luke said customers also will find items that make escaping to the mountains more fun.

“There’s just a lot of fun things that we think you’d want if you were going on your cabin escape like candles, games, cards and lots of books — the kinds of things that you just want when you are making a weekend escape,” Dudley said.

Luke and Emily opened Ohana in downtown Steamboat Springs in 2015 and moved into the store’s current location at 834 Lincoln Ave. in 2019. The couple then opened the Breckenridge location in January 2021.

Emily creates the designs printed on the T-shirts, sweatshirts, water bottles and many other items, and the company’s production facility is located on Steamboat’s west side.

The businesses have 25 employees between the three stores including 13 full-time workers. The new space measures about 1,800 square feet and is smaller than Ohana Steamboat, which comes in at 2,300 square feet.

Upcountry will be open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Monday for the first few months, but the Dudleys are hoping to have the store open seven days a week with longer hours sometime in November as Upcountry gears up for the holiday rush.

Luke said the store is still in a soft-opening phase, and customers can expect the selection to grow as more items arrive each day.

For Luke, who grew up in Steamboat Springs, being able to build a brand in his hometown has been special and comes with plenty of rewards.

“It’s fun to be able to do it in Steamboat and to be close to my family,” Luke said. “We really pride ourselves in offering stuff that locals want. We hope what we have here is the same as Ohana, where we get a ton of locals walking in the doors and we get to create that community vibe. We see people we know every day and it is lots of fun.”

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