Soda Creek Western Mercantile closing
Chase Oriental Rug Company owner purchased buildng for location, more space
Steamboat Springs — Word of a “quitting business” sale at a popular Western clothing and merchandise store in downtown Steamboat Springs brought out the masses.
Even before Soda Creek Western Mercantile opened Thursday morning to begin the sale, about 150 people had gathered outside.
Supervisor John Brothers said about 200 people were in the store within the first five minutes after opening.
Longtime Routt County resident Dan Hodges picked up two new Stetson hats.
“This one’s about ready to get retired,” Hodges said, pointing to the tattered cowboy hat on his head.
The decision to sell the building at Third Street and Lincoln Avenue came down to simple economics.
Del Lockhart manages the store and said it was a difficult decision his brother, Ty Lockhart, had to make.
“Bottom line is we weren’t making enough money to justify the value of the real estate,” Del Lockhart said.
Del Lockhart said the sale of the building had closed, but he did not know the price. Routt County Assessor Amy Williams said Thursday her office did not yet have a record of the building sale. Chase Oriental Rug Company is moving into the store.
“I’ve always just enjoyed walking around and just looking at everything in here,” Hodges said. “I’m sad to see that it’s closing. It’s another piece of Steamboat Western heritage that’s disappearing.”
Del Lockhart said the Lockharts purchased the already established Soda Creek business in the mid-1990s. Basically, they bought out the competition. The Lockhart family owns F.M. Light & Sons Western clothing store and Bushwackers Clothing.
Del Lockhart said the family looked into moving the Soda Creek business, but that they could not find a good location and they got a good offer on the building.
David Chase Scully, who owns Chase Oriental Rug in Riverside Center, purchased the Soda Creek building.
Healthy Solutions natural food store is also in the building and will remain there.
“We’re looking forward to having Healthy Solutions as our neighbor,” Scully said.
Scully started the rug company 12 years ago. He has been in the Riverside Center for seven years and said the loss of several anchor stores at the shopping center on the west side of town was bad for his business.
“The dynamics of this shopping center has gone from very viable to quiet,” Scully said.
There is a lot of synergy building downtown, he said, and the foot traffic is important to his business.
“I needed a lot of square footage, and I needed parking,” Scully said.
He will nearly triple his current store’s space to 12,000 square feet.
The business caters to a lot of second-home owners in the area, he said.
The business will still be called Chase Oriental Rug Company, but it also will sell furniture, including hand-hammered copper tables.
Rug Company “is the name of the business,” Scully said, “but it’s really a lot more than that.”
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Colorado Parks and Wildlife Area Manager Kris Middledorf estimated there are about 4,000 mountain lions in Colorado, though it’s difficult to say how many are in Routt County. Middledorf said human interaction with lions is rare, and humans being attacked by a lion is even more rare.