Remember back a couple of months ago when Eagle County was nearly suffocated in a three-foot snow dump?
The folks at Habitat for Humanity of Eagle and Lake Counties remember it vividly. On the night of Feb. 1, that epic snow caved in the roof at their Eagle ReStore. Since then, the operation has been without a local retail outlet, but that will change on April 1 — no joke.
“It will be two months to the day that we re-open,” said Tim McKay, ReStore manager. The ReStore is opening at Caddis Corner, the retail building near Costco where Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli is located.
“We have searched from Vail to Dotsero and this is the best place we found, and it’s a great option at that,” said McKay.
As of late last week, the 5,000 square foot space was still empty. But McKay promised it wouldn’t stay that way for long.
“Once we get it ready, moving stuff in is the easy part. Moving upscale furniture is what we do all the time,” he said.
In fact, the roof collapse and the search for a new retail space didn’t slow down the ReStore’s collection and warehousing work during the past couple of months. Crews have kept busing collecting assorted furniture and fixture donations and shuttling them to ReStore storage areas. Once various remodeling projects are completed at the new Gypsum location, the warehoused donations will be moved into the new space.
But while the ReStore is glad to report a reopening next week, it’s long term location plans are still undecided.
Temporary home, maybe?
“We are here temporarily. Obviously we plan to go back to Eagle, but with so many factors involved, this could be the opportunity to open two locations,” said McKay. “We were in the process of outgrowing the Eagle location when the roof caved in.”
While the ReStore’s Gypsum retail location features a square footage roughly equal to the first floor of the former Eagle location on Chambers Avenue, there is no option for outside storage/sales. That was one of the best features of the Eagle site, said McKay.
Habitat is interested in returning to the Eagle location, but the operation must hammer out an agreement with the property landlord that addresses the repairs needed at the site.
“We know that will take awhile. At a minimum we know it needs a new roof,” said McKay.
In the meantime, the ReStore closing meant a financial pinch for Habitat for Humanity of Eagle and Lake Counties. “We have taken a huge financial hit. We lost more than $100,000 by not being open for two months,” said McKay.
“The Habitat ReStore is a great community partner,” noted Eagle Town Manager Jon Stavney. “We understand this is a time of transition for them and we wish them well with their short-term solution.”
But Stavney added that Eagle does want the ReStore to return.
“Their primary goal is to build houses and their volume of sales went up when the operation moved to Eagle,” said Stavney. “We want them to be successful with their primary goal and to find the best retail location for that. We would love that location to be here in Eagle.”
Setting up shop
As he looks at 5,000 square feet of empty space, McKay sees abundant possibilities. “We want this store to look more like a high end consignment store,” he said.
As crew work toward the April 1 reopening, McKay feels confident about the possibility of realizing that upscale goal.
“We have been collecting stuff for two months so our April 1 reopening day will seem a lot like one of our Best of the Best sales,” he said.
As reopening approaches, McKay sent out a call for volunteers — anyone who would like to work merchandizing or sales jobs is welcome. Likewise, he also put out a call for donations.
“Our pick-up service is the best in the business and we can be at your door within 48 hours of your call,” McKay said.
And while the ReStore is opening at a new place, its contact information is unchanged. The store can be reached at 970-328-1119 and its website is www.habitatvailvalley.org.