Bizwatch: Alpine Treasures |

Bizwatch: Alpine Treasures

Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO, Colorado

Business Name: Alpine Treasures.

Date opened: November, 2004.

Owned and operated by: Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

Contact Information: We’re located on Gore Creek Drive, creekside just east of the International Bridge. Open daily. Phone: 479-7365. Our store manager is Bridget Levis. Ann Kurronen is Executive Director of Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. Reach her at 476-0103, ext. 6, or by e-mail at

What goods or services do you provide? At Alpine Treasures we offer customers a wide selection of elegant homewares and gifts, with an accent on style and charm. We have something for everyone, from festive baby gifts, to wonderfully packaged calligraphy sets, to floral embossed serving dishes.

One very popular item we have this season are silk shawls in a variety of colors and designs that will accentuate any outfit. As you wrap one of these soft shawls around you, you will immediately feel stylish, warm and well kept.

Another option is our “good morning” breakfast set which includes cheery white porcelain juice glasses and a pitcher that will bring a smile to your face as you read the “good morning” message inside. This line of dishes make wonderful hostess or wedding gifts.

What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? We believe the most significant way in which we differentiate ourselves is that we are one of the few not-for-profit retail shops in the Vail Valley. All proceeds from Alpine Treasures go to benefit Betty Ford Alpine Treasures. At our store, customers will find many quality choices for their gift-giving needs and home decorating, and at the same time, help out the gardens. Everyone who buys something from Alpine Treasures can feel great about supporting Eagle County’s own high-altitude botanic garden.

Additionally, we purposely look for items not sold elsewhere in the valley so customers are sure to find unique gift-giving options, many of which are floral in their design characteristics in keeping with the Gardens. While the gardens are covered in snow this time of year, our product lines bring alive the allure of summer wildflowers.

What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? What can customers expect from you? It is our goal to provide locals and visitors with a unique shopping experience that is reflective of Vail’s ambiance and the elegance of Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. Our customers can expect to be greeted warmly as they step into a place of beauty and color. Once inside, they will find quality items they will be proud to give as gifts or decorate their own homes.

Many of our patrons are visiting from afar and we are able to ship their purchases to anywhere in the world. We are more than happy to mail items to their home as a keepsake of their visit to Vail.

Some background on Betty Ford Alpine Gardens: Located in an expansive mountain valley in Vail, Colorado, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is the highest botanic garden in the world at an elevation of 8,250 feet. This nationally recognized garden receives 100,000 visitors annually to observe its beauty, experience tranquility, and learn about high altitude plants and ecosystems.

Founded in 1985 as a non-profit organization, the gardens were named in honor of former First Lady Betty Ford for her many contributions to the Vail Valley, our nation and beyond. Today, the gardens are spread over three acres to include four distinct landscapes; Alpine Rock Garden, Children’s Garden, Mountain Perennial Garden, and Mountain Meditation Garden. Plant collection groupings are based on type of habitat, geographic origin, taxonomy and need for conservation.

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens offers many popular programs and events to the local community which provide imaginative educational learning for young children, teenagers and people of all ages. Additionally, the Gardens offer a horticultural therapy program and opportunities for the public to gain useful knowledge about plant and environmental conservation. Betty Ford Alpine Gardens monitors rare local plant populations and maintains a botanic list of plants that are suitable for growing in the high altitude landscape.

What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? When some of our customers see Mrs. Ford’s name on our storefront, they wonder if she owns the shop and ask if they can meet her. We then explain our connection to her namesake garden, but sometimes they still expect that they will have an audience with the former First Lady.

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