Glenwood Springs’ Downtown Drug owner passing the reins after 23 years
Jason Gotzinger to take over as owner and lead pharmacist
Since 1998, Downtown Drug has been the go-to pharmacy for locals in Glenwood Springs. Behind the idea and the owners of the business were Margie and Pete Crow, who after 23 years decided it’s time to pass the pharmaceutical torch onto new hands.
Taking hold of that torch will be Glenwood Springs resident Jason Gotzinger, who has the same strong desire to lead a pharmacy that contributes to a sense of community and puts patients first.
“The last thing I want to do is focus on the bottom line and not what is in the best interest of the patient,” Gotzinger said. “So, this was a really great fit because they already have that mentality here.”
Originally at 817 Grand Ave. in 1998, the downtown pharmacy moved to its current location in 2000 after the Odd Fellows offered the building at 825 Grand Ave. as a rent-to-own opportunity. It was the vision of the Odd Fellows to have a centrally located downtown drug store, Margie Crow said.
Margie Crow, who has been the well-known face behind the counter along with business partners Bridgitte Doane and Myra Tobias, is ready for the next chapter in her life and recognizes the many changes and new challenges that comes with operating a locally owned pharmacy.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
“Because of the new technology and the contracting… it requires new technical abilities and it’s just time (to leave),” she said. “There are new things that have to be done to make an independent pharmacy survive, and I know Jason can do it.”
A couple of months ago, Crow and Gotzinger started getting together and talking about what the transition would look like and how the two could work together to make sure it went as smoothly as possible.
“Everything just fell into place; he was ready to leave CVS and it was just the right match. He wanted a store where he could take more time with the customers. I think he is going to grow old here,” Crow said. “It was just the right match.”
A little about Gotzinger
Gotzinger was born in Hawaii but grew up in Colorado on the Front Range while his mom was in the United States Navy.
For him, 1999 was defined by the Columbine High School shooting as he was currently attending the rival school Chatfield High near Littleton. Then two years later, tragedy struck again on Sept. 11, 2001.
“That kind of defined some of my earlier years, it was so detrimental,” Gotzinger said of Columbine. “Then my mom got called out for 9/11 when I was in high school so those two events sent me into college.”
He went to college at the University of Colorado in Boulder and attained a bachelor’s degree in molecular, cellular and developmental biology.
After graduating he was still trying to figure out what exactly he wanted to do, and ended up attending pharmacy school before working at a Target pharmacy, which was eventually bought out by CVS in 2015.
He later moved to Glenwood Springs after applying for and getting the pharmacy manager position at Target in the Glenwood Meadows.
“I wanted more of the hometown feel where I can get to know my patients and take care of them more than I would be able to over there,” Gotzinger said. “Then I heard that Margie was looking to transition just because it was time and figured I was the perfect person to come over because I wanted to make little change to the existing team. I wanted to add what I could.”
The main change Gotzinger envisions bringing to Downtown Drug is the availability of yearly flu vaccines. He hopes many of his patients will transition with him but also hopes to begin building a new relationship with the many longtime Downtown Drug customers.
The official paperwork for the transition was signed Aug. 2, however, Crow will continue to be at the pharmacy in the coming weeks to train with Gotzinger and the rest of the staff.
Visual Journalist Chelsea Self can be reached at 970-384-9108 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Aspen Valley Hospital and Aspen Skiing Co. are enacting policies that will require their employees to get fully vaccinated ahead of the winter season.