We’re Open: Ute Mountaineer
In our continued effort to keep the local residents informed on which businesses remain open, The Aspen Times has started the “We’re Open” feature to profile local businesses working through the coronavirus crisis. We want to connect consumers with the work businesses are doing to stay open.
You can also find our continuously updated “What’s Open” list of businesses that are operating on our website at http://www.aspentimes.com.
To be featured as a business profile, email staff reporter Austin Colbert at email@example.com for more information.
Business name: Ute Mountaineer
Address: 210 S. Galena St., Aspen, CO 81611
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Aspen Times: How have you gotten creative during this time? What have you done to keep your customers engaged?
Ute Mountaineer: When the pandemic first started, we worked hard to communicate the steps we were taking to create a healthy and sanitary workplace. As it became clear that we were likely headed toward a mandated closure, we noticed a lot of people were interested in uphill skiing, especially with the chairlifts closed. Although it is not something we normally would do, we decided to sell off almost all of our rental uphill skiing equipment. We hope that it gave people a healthy outlet during the stay-at-home period. We obtained some funding through the PPP loan program and put our staff back to work cleaning and reorganizing the store for a new COVID-19 world. When tasks in the store ran low, owner Bob Wade organized a few work days to improve the local climbing crags in the Classy Cliff and Gold Butte areas.
AT: What’s the most important thing the community can do to support you?
UM: As we have always believed, Aspen residents should buy locally as much as possible. We understand that many people are choosing to buy online due to the pandemic, but it’s more important than ever to support our local brick and mortar stores when possible. Shopping locally protects the unique character of Aspen’s downtown; locally owned businesses create more local jobs and pay better than chains or online retailers; dollars spent in locally owned businesses have three times the impact on our community as dollars spent at national chains and infinitely more impact than buying online; taxes collected by local businesses pay for your roads, parks and community services; local business contributes to local charities and put on community events; and locally owned businesses cater to local needs, interests and customers.
AT: Where can we find your most current offerings and updates?
UM: You are always welcome to come by the store! Our current store hours and contact information is available at http://www.utemountaineer.com. One of the projects we worked on was loading a portion of our inventory onto a website called locally.com. Locally gives consumers the ability to see what gear and products are available at their local retailers. It also integrates with brand websites such as osprey.com and patagonia.com to show you if the product you are looking at is available down the street at a local retailer. Then you can pick it up the same day for the same price, support your local store and keep tax dollars in your community.
AT: What has been the best customer experience or comment you’ve had since the crisis started?
UM: The overall support and feedback from our customers has been really special. When we announced our closure we received numerous emails wishing us well. When we shared some fun notes on Aspen legends like Bil Dunaway, we received cheerful messages of trips down memory lane. A silver lining to this situation has been having time to check in and share stories with our community.
AT: Is there anything else you’d like to add regarding your business during the pandemic?
UM: We want to encourage our customers to continue to responsibly get outside and recreate in your local area. It’s good for your physical and mental health, especially during these trying times!
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