Ski Town Wine and Spirits listens to customers, opens downtown Steamboat shop
Excitement filled the air inside Ski Town Wine and Spirits Downtown as owners AJ Fossum, Mike Lang and Andre Swanson talked about their reasons for opening a second location.
“I’ve listened to my clients for a long time, and they said, ‘I wish you were downtown,’” Fossum said. “So finally, we have the resources to do that and to give our customers something different. We offer such a unique selection here, and first and foremost, we’re all wine professionals. Service is our No. 1 goal.”
The new location at 1107 Lincoln Ave. opened earlier this week. It will join the Ski Town Wine and Spirits lineup including a store in the Steamboat Grand at 2300 Mount Werner Circle and The Collective Wine Bar Steamboat at 1875 Ski Time Square Drive.
“The resort is fantastic, and it’s what Steamboat is known for,” Lang said. “But we needed something in downtown as well, so what we’re offering now is selection, as well as convenience, because we have a store on the mountain and now a store downtown.”
Lang said the new Ski Town Wine and Spirits has incorporated many of the things the mountain store has offered since it opened on the ground level of the Steamboat Grand in 2009, including fine wine, craft beer and specialty liquor.
“We have everything you need to go on that raft trip or to enjoy a fine dinner at home,” Lang said. “We’ve got it all.”
The new downtown location, just like the shop on the mountain, will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. The group is also offering wine tastings at The Collective Bar Wine Bar Steamboat, which is open from 2-8 p.m. daily.
Swanson said while the new storefront will mirror what is happening at the mountain, there are some key differences.
“Parking is a big deal up at the mountain,” Swanson said. “We have a full parking lot behind at our liquor store in downtown, so we’re very excited about that. We are excited to actually have a parking lot for our customers.”
The new owners purchased the building a while back and took their time to make sure everything was just right, and that it met their customers’ needs.
“We were able to build a fine wine room and to build it just the way we wanted it to look and the way we wanted it to feel,” Lang said. “We also wanted to make sure it had the selection they were looking for.”
Swanson said that while Ski Town Wine and Spirits offers a large selection, the products offered in the store have been vetted by his staff.
“A lot of people don’t know this, but there are over 60 additives allowed in the production of wine, liquor, and beer,” Swanson said. “They don’t have to tell us what’s in it, which is unfortunate, so (we work) to kind of bridge that gap between the customer doing their research and trusting producers.“
With six sommeliers on staff researching all of our products, Ski Town Wine and Spirits customers can have confidence in what they are buying.
Ski Town Wine and Spirits’ high-level service won’t dip as the business expands, but rather multiply.
“We just felt like there was a lack of presence downtown for people wanting a full-service bottle shop,” Swanson said. “There’s just wasn’t a lot to pick from downtown, so when the opportunity presented itself — as longtime locals — we wanted to be that neighborhood bottle shop for the downtown community.”
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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