Brower: The evolving outdoor vibe in Granby, Colorado
Activity is brewing in Granby that promises to change the look and feel of downtown and the town in general. And much of this planned activity harkens to an evolving conception of Granby and its locale.
Whereas in the past Granby might have been seen as more of a nuts-and-bolts town geared toward services and schools, the new aspirational thinking about Granby’s future sees it more as a resort and tourism town anchored by its location and strong links to the great outdoors of the Rocky Mountains.
Take, as an example, a retail store and information center, linked with a coffee shop, that’s planning to open its doors soon. Called Two Pines Supply, this new business will be located in the former Villager store and Alpine West location across from the former LongBranch. Anyone who’s been keeping their eyes open in Granby will have noticed the extensive renovations and remodeling taking place in the building.
Chris Olivier, the owner of the store, aspires for it to be “the go-to resource for camping, hiking, mountain biking, and other backcountry activities for every season.”
The very name of the business harkens to an outdoor ethic. It refers to a John Muir quote: “Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”
Two Pines will be a retail store that sells and rents supplies geared toward the outdoors such as backpacking gear, general hiking gear, climbing gear and more. It will also work with Lucas Harville at Lion Head Coffee where a roaster and tasting bar will be in place in the store.
So while the store will be a retail outlet that also rents, it also aspires to be an information resource that is also a convening and gathering place for information relating to the outdoors.
“It’s like we have this huge playground in Grand County for activities of all kinds,” Olivier says. “Most people think of it as just skiing. But there’s so much more year-round. People are looking at what to do here and we want to be that resource . . . We want to the go-to resource for outdoor things. Tents, sleeping bags, tires, gear and advice.”
Olivier, who has an extensive background in retail and outdoor activities, has been looking at Granby as a place that has a unique geographical and economic configuration for Grand County.
“I think Granby is in the spot to be in this Valley what Eagle is to Vail,” he says. “Granby is going to become so much more so for Winter Park and Grand Lake.”
The new Sun Communities RV Park that is set for a soft opening this summer, bodes well for increased interest and traffic in Granby for people looking to do things in the outdoors. Built along the Colorado River and branded as such, the new higher-end RV Park bodes well for Granby as a new gateway community to all that is outdoors in Grand County.
Not only that, if affordable housing proposals associated with the Sun Communities project and elsewhere pan out, Granby will become even more of the “down-valley” town where people who work in Grand County come to live. And play.
Also in the works for that part of Granby is a food truck restaurant option that reflects the growing popularity of that sort of dining opportunity. To be run by Lucas Harville of Lion Head Coffee behind R and J Liquors, this new venture will serve as an additional asset making that area of Granby and attractive place to stop and visit for outdoor information and stuff, food and drink. Granby’s brewery, Never Summer Brewing, is located right in the same vicinity, along with Maverick’s.
A new “buzz” is coming to that part of Granby.
A long time ago Granby was known as the Dude Ranch Capital of America, a moniker it could still reliably display. Now it can add a new brand about its position as a gateway to the great Colorado outdoors.
Patrick Brower is the Enterprise Facilitator for the Grand Enterprise Initiative. He provides free and confidential business management coaching for anyone who wants to start or expand a business in Grand County. He can be reached at 970-531-0632 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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