BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado - Don Reynolds' new business started with an April Fools' joke.
Reynolds was reading the Summit Daily News on April 1 when he came across a fake article about a Costco coming to Frisco. He was fooled and even texted his wife in excitement before realizing it was a joke.
"This one got me good," he said. "But what a good idea - I can't believe we don't have one here."
The idea of somehow bringing Costco to Summit County made sense to him. He has a large freezer he fills with bulk meats and other goodies from trips to the store. A light bulb went off, and Reynolds started work on a new venture: "Have it 2 Go," a Costco shopping and delivery service.
Through Reynolds' website, customers can pick the products they want. Reynolds makes the trip and delivers to his clients' front doors.
In just a few weeks, Reynolds, a voice actor and DJ at Krystal 93, has already built a website, bought a van and made his first pick-up. His site currently has an inventory of about 100 products, but he expects to have 300 to 400 soon.
Reynolds' client list is all Summit County-based so far, but he'd like to pick up Vail Valley customers, too. He splits trips between Gypsum and the Denver area - the store just off Interstate 70 at Wadsworth - depending on traffic, weather and small differences in the stores' inventory. It's actually the same distance to both stores from his home in Breckenridge, and the drive time is about the same.
Reynolds is delivering to Summit County for $39 - which covers fuel and delivery charges - but entering the word "local" at checkout gets a $14 discount. He's also plugged in zip codes from Gypsum to Fairplay to Evergreen, so the delivery charge can be based on the trip from the store to the client.
Besides saving fuel for customers, Reynolds points out that he's saving people time - from Summit County, it's about a three-hour round trip.
Customers don't need to buy into a Costco card, since Reynolds already has one. He is also delivering to areas between Summit and the Front Range and plans on starting to pick up items at Sam's Club, as well.
And for those who don't need a Costco-sized supply of something, Reynolds will split up cases and multipacks if individual customers want to share.
Reynolds started with just Tuesday and Thursday runs but has since switched to Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If business keeps growing, the vans will spend more time on the road.
And, he said, the people at the Costco stores are already being a big help and will put an order on a wooden palette, so his vans can be loaded with a forklift, not a human. And business has already picked up to the point that Have It 2 Go is his full-time job.
So far, Reynolds said he's received great response to his idea and expects to get even more business next winter from second-home owners, restaurants and others.
"I really think there's a viable market for this," he said.