Old-fashioned general store slated for downtown Basalt | AspenTimes.com

Old-fashioned general store slated for downtown Basalt

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times
Zack Fisher says he has listened to what Basalt residents and visitors want and is running with the idea of opening a general store downtown. He aims to open by mid-July.
Scott Condon/The Aspen Times |

A Basalt businessman already playing a role in trying to boost vitality downtown is stepping up his game by opening an old-fashioned general store.

Zack Fisher aims to be fully stocked and “rockin’” by mid-July with the Basalt General Store. He will open in the Midland Avenue Mall, taking over the spot where Basalt Bike and Ski was once located and was more recently occupied by Faboo, a clothing store. Faboo slid over last month to an adjacent spot recently vacated by the Basalt Emporium and Flying Circus.

Shae Singer, a co-owner of the building and owner of the Emporium and Flying Circus, said Fisher will carry some of the items from her shop. Her store in Aspen continues to operate.

“We’re not giving up on Basalt. We’re just morphing,” Singer said.

She said she’s excited for Fisher to open his general store and believes it signals downtown Basalt is alive and well, despite some people’s perceptions.

“I believe there’s plenty of vitality in Basalt,” she said.

Fisher said he will carry a little bit of everything, from local, grass-fed beef and local produce to dry goods and camping supplies, and from old-fashioned candy and a soda fountain to deli sandwiches and bird feeders.

The space is just shy of 2,000 square feet. The interior will feature wood shelving and whiskey-barrel decor. He will stock everyday household items and artwork in the front with a full grocery in the back.

Fisher said he will take suggestions on what to stock.

“I might not order 100 of them, but I’ll carry a couple of them,” he said.

Fisher is manager of Basalt Mountain Inn, a hotel on Midland Avenue. He will continue working there as well as running the store. Fisher also has been a player in efforts to bring more exposure and people to downtown in recent years. He said he’s got a good handle on the pulse downtown, and said he’s heard both locals and visitors saying they wanted a general store. The town’s two grocery stores are in West Basalt, almost 4 miles from downtown.

“It was the idea of the people that live and visit here,” Fisher said. “I just ran with it.

“There’s nothing like it here,” he added.

The Basalt General Store will have a laid-back, friendly feel. People will be welcome to hang out and visit, Fisher said. The store will be open seven days a week during the summer from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 to mid-afternoon on Sundays.

Fisher said he doesn’t have the bulk buying power of City Market and Whole Foods, but he plans to be competitively priced.

“If I get the right products at the right price, why wouldn’t they shop here?” Fisher asked.

He’s betting people will. An emphasis will be on locally raised meat and locally grown produce. He’s signed on with Mountain Primal Meat Co. of Emma for humanely raised, grass-fed beef from their American Highland.

“The steak you get is from a mile away,” Fisher said.