Say goodnight, Gracy’s
September 10, 2007
ASPEN ” In anticipation of the impending sale of the building partly occupied by Gracy’s, owners of the consignment store said Monday that it will close permanently in the next month or so.
The announcement comes after Gracy’s, 312 E. Hyman Ave., closed briefly in August when the Colorado Department of Revenue seized the store and its assets over unpaid wage and sales taxes. Those bills were paid, and the store reopened by the end of the month.
But the looming sale of the building that houses the store, combined with accumulated financial troubles, has prompted the owners to announce they will be closing the store for good. The closure will bring to an end more than 30 years of business, including seven years under the current ownership by Brad and Karen Carner.
Brad Carner, in a written statement Monday, said that one of the factors contributing to the closure is that the store has “enjoyed limited success in the high seasons and required additional personal funds to support the six months of [offseason].”
The rent to the store’s landlord, Mead Metcalf, while “perceived to be reasonable,” Carner continued, “still is an enormous expense when you are trying to offer items at highly attractive prices,” and thus contributed to the store’s economic woes.
Metcalf recently confirmed that the building is under contract to Pat Smith, who also heads the company that is developing the Base Village at Snowmass.
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Meanwhile, Carner wrote: “The ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ was trying to expand into the Glenwood Springs market in an effort to offset the losses in the Aspen store during the [offseason].”
The Glenwood store was open less than a year and closed in June, Carner said, calling it a “failed attempt” that “cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and ended up requiring the Aspen store to support both locations.”
In his written statement Carner mentioned the sale, saying, “Clearly, a small one story building doesn’t make sense on a $15 million piece of property.” Carner said the exact date of the store’s closure has not been decided, but predicted that it will be “in the next two to four weeks.”
As for the fate of the consignment goods still in the store, he said, the store’s attorney is working on “an exit strategy that will be fair to both our consignors and long time customers.” He encouraged consignors to pick up their goods “if they so choose,” and urged customers to come in “and take advantage of tremendous values.”
He said any merchandise not picked up or sold will be donated to the Crossroads Church in Aspen for its Haiti mission, and that consignors could use the donations as write-offs on their taxes if they are willing to fill out the required paperwork.
“In closing,” Carner stated, “We would like to express our sincerest appreciation at having had the opportunity to build many great friendships with the wonderful residents of this community.”
John Colson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org