New video store offers DVD rentals, plenty of nostalgia in Hayden
Steamboat Springs — Your calendar is correct.
We haven’t been beamed back into the 1990s.
But Yampa Valley residents yearning for cheap DVD rentals, movie theater candy, new-release Tuesdays and the pressure of some modest late fees have a new movie store to check out.
As the final Blockbuster video stores were closing across the country this month because of fierce competition from Netflix and Redbox, Mile High Movies was celebrating its third week of existence on Jefferson Avenue in Hayden.
“We just decided we needed a movie store, and Redbox wouldn’t do it for us, so we went back in time,” store manager Shelly Lowe said.
For the business to be successful, Lowe and building owner Lisa Ricks-Deines are banking on the fact many people in the small town in western Routt County still prefer DVDs to streaming services that haven’t yet caught fire in some rural areas where Internet service can be slower or nonexistent.
At the new movie store, you won’t encounter a line of movie-hungry people waiting behind you to browse through titles on an electronic screen.
The movies also never come with a pair of white circles that can appear when the movie needs to buffer, causing you to have to wait a few more moments to find out whether Timmy makes it off that electric fence alive as the power is restored in “Jurassic Park.”
No, things are much more simple at this store.
And chances are the racks of hundreds of titles ranging from the classics of “Forrest Gump” and “Top Gun” to the recently released “Turbo” and “Man of Steel” will be yours to browse alone.
“I started talking to my friends in the area about what we could put in that storefront, and at the top of the list was a movie rental store,” Ricks-Deines said. “I had a friend tell me they didn’t like the idea of having their teenage kid driving to Craig and Steamboat just to rent a movie.”
There’s no denying streaming has become more popular and has made it easier to watch movies in the post-Blockbuster era.
And it ultimately might overtake DVDs in the future.
But Ricks-Deines, who lives in Grand Junction and owns a ranch in Hayden, said some business leaders in the town have tried to secure a Redbox before, but they weren’t able to get one.
The movie store pioneers still see room for rentals.
“I enjoy the touch and feel of going into a place like a movie store,” Ricks-Deines said.
The store offers patrons a selection of about 1,500 movies to rent, including new releases every Tuesday.
Rentals are $1.50 per night for DVDs and $2 per night for Blu-ray.
Late fees start at $1 per day.
The movie store also is home to the Midway Marketplace and sells local artwork and jewelry.
Ricks-Deines bought the building about one year ago and renovated the upstairs into an eight-room boarding house.
Now that the video store is open, all but one of the seven commercial spaces downstairs are full.
“It just felt good to do this. It felt right,” Ricks-Deines said. “We’re trying to fulfill a need. I hope it’s a good thing.”
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