Mojo Music moving to Minturn | VailDaily.com

Mojo Music moving to Minturn

CVR Mojo KA 08-12-10

AVON, Colorado – Shawn McKeown knew the days of the neighborhood CD store were numbered when he bought Mojo Music in 2007. He just didn’t know how fast those days would fly by.

McKeown bought the longtime Avon store with the idea of turning it into more of a full-service music store that featured instrument sales and service. Selling disks would be part of the plan, but only part.

But when the local economy followed the rest of the country into the current slump last year, CD and DVD sales dropped even faster than they had been. Hispanic construction workers stopped coming in for Spanish-language hip-hop discs, and everyone else either stopped buying music or continued the exodus to either on-line buying or Internet file-sharing.

The drop in disc sales accelerated McKeown’s long-term plan to turn the store’s inventory almost entirely to instrument sales and service. His inability to come to what he thought was a more realistic lease on the Avon space meant the store had to move.

So in September, Mojo Music will become Minturn Music, in a space on Main Street across from the Minturn Country Club. McKeown’s excited about the move, but said some of his customers aren’t thrilled with it. After all, the music store has been in that location for more than 20 years.

“We still have loyal customers who don’t download music, either because they don’t want to or don’t like the sound quality,” McKeown said.

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McKeown said having his own music store has been a learning experience in the world of small retail shops. He acknowledges that he used to be a dedicated Amazon customer.

“But now I buy all my books at the Bookworm,” he said. “I look at things very differently these days.”

But it’s hard to buck the reality that a universe of music is just a mouse-click away. The good news is that some people still want to make their own tunes.

“People want to buy instruments,” McKeown said. “We sell a lot of acoustic guitars at the beginning of the ski season, when people are looking for $100 guitars.”

So McKeown stocks some low-end acoustic guitars that still make a pretty good sound to go with the more expensive electric and acoustic guitars and basses. He also has drums, cymbals and various percussion gadgets.

The new store in Minturn will have room for consignment instruments, as well as places to play.

“I hope we can do some community-building with the local musicians,” McKeown said. “There’s really no place for them to meet and play together now. And a lot of musicians live in Minturn.”

And at this point, the instrument business had better work.

“There’s no excuses now,” McKeown said. “We’re going to be in the instrument business.”

But there will still be a bit left over for those who don’t make their own music.

“We’re going to have some vinyl (records),” McKeown said. “It’s kind of trendy now.”