Future could be harder for new businesses
EAGLE-VAIL ” Deb and Tim Scully think the growth of second homes in Eagle County may make it more difficult for future entrepreneurs to start a business.
“We got here at a good time and that made it easier,” Tim said. “Now you have to have deep pockets and long arms to start a business, especially now with the price of real estate.”
They took over the Eagle-Vail office-and-art supply that now bears their name in 1988 ” during a recession. At the time, their youth and inexperience worked to their advantage.
“I don’t think you could have gotten any more naive,” Deb said. “We didn’t now business was bad. We had to struggle through it.”
They say they have weathered a changing market, and somewhat surprisingly the arrival of a large Office Depot on Avon last year didn’t hurt their business as much as they had anticipated it would.
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They found sales took an initial hit when the office supply franchise opened, but customers they didn’t like shopping at a “big box,” Tim said.
Also, the couple had changed the focus of their business before the competition arrived. “We’re not an office supply store,” Tim said. “It’s more art and gifts now.”
What’s affected their business more was the growth of the business-heavy Edwards area. Still, Tim added, they’ve taken some bold steps to reinforce their fortunes.
Nearly a decade ago they bought the building they occupy, and began selling space to other businesses. That left them with 5,000 square feet they now own. They also purchased 35 acres of land on Squaw Creek west of Edwards before land prices rose out of their reach.
“We were lucky,” Tim said.
They’ve watched the area change as it has developed, noting that the divide between the haves and have-nots seems to be growing. There seems to be more people owning upper crust second homes and fewer members of the middle class, Tim said.
“I don’t know how some people do it, even if you’re paid relatively well. When Sunridge in Avon sells for $225,000, there’s a problem,” said Tim, referring to the condominium complex in Avon where prices have typically been lower.
Ultimately, the Scullys said they like their business because most of their clientele is locals. “We know 60 percent of the people who come in,” Tim said. “The locals make it satisfying. It’s like a party.”