Scully’s is riding off into the sunset

Scully's art supply store announces it's going out of business with signs on the door in Edwards on Friday. Scully's plans on staying open through the first week of May, or until all of the merchandise is gone.
Townsend Bessent | |

There’s still time

Open since 1988, Scully’s will shut its doors the first week of May. And yes, everything is on sale.

EDWARDS — Every place has landmarks, from mountains to lakes to man-made places. But those man-made landmarks can fade. That’s happening to one of the valley’s best-known shops in the next couple of weeks, when Scully’s Art Supply closes its doors in Edwards.

The store, and owners Tim and Deb Scully, have a long history in the valley.

Back in 1987 or so, Tim Scully was living in Denver working for Xerox, selling and servicing copiers. One of his good clients was Shelly’s, an office-supply store with an outlet in Eagle-Vail.

The bosses at Shelly’s lured Tim and his then-girlfriend, Deb, to run the Eagle-Vail shop. The Scullys thought they could do better with a shop of their own. Not long after, Scully’s Art Office & Drafting supplies was born.

The store quickly became a valley institution, selling a wide variety of greeting cards around — many with decidedly adult themes — as well as everything needed to run an office, outfit school kids’ projects and keep local artists drawing and painting.

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“I can’t tell you how many school projects we’ve helped,” Tim Scully said, only guessing at the amount of construction paper, glue and foam-core poster board that’s moved through the shop and into family rooms in the valley.


Most of that material moved through the doors of the shop in Eagle-Vail. After selling the Eagle-Vail space in 2014, Scully’s moved to Edwards, next to the FirstBank branch. And that’s where the story will end in the first week of May.

“It’s just time,” Scully said, adding he’s ready for the next chapter in his and Deb’s life together.

The reason for closing, he said, is in the palm of most of our hands — what used to be essential material that was a quick drive away is now as close as a finger-swipe on a smart phone. Online purchases are easy and quick enough that there simply isn’t the demand, even for the art supplies that are now the store’s core inventory.

Still, getting even to this point has taken a lot of thought, and a bit of luck.

Fax machines were coming into vogue not long after Scully’s opened. The store sold the machines, and sold a lot of them to offices as a vastly cheaper alternative to using overnight courier services.

“We could save people a lot of money if they didn’t have to use FedEx,” he said.

Cell phones started catching on about the same time as fax machines, and the Scully’s soon signed a deal with Nextel. That company had two-click service between parties, a service that came at a much better price than the cumbersome two-way radios that construction, plumbing and other businesses had long used.

“That two-way click with Nextel was huge,” Scully said. “We had every big construction company in the valley.”

During lean times, Scully’s rented space to other businesses. Some of the valley’s earliest internet users got their first taste of the technology in Derek and Alex Mitchell’s little office in the back of the store.

But the budding technology in the back of the shop brought changes to the front.

“First drafting went away, then offices supplies,” Scully said.

But customers always came, to buy or, often, to socialize.

And, while the Scully’s are ready for the next step in their lives, they’ll miss their customers and friends.

“I tell people it’s like a bar without the booze,” Scully said. So what’s next?

That remains an open question. It’s about time to move the couple’s horses to their property near Saguache, and riding season is at hand. Scully works for the Vail Resorts race department, so there’s that on the calendar. Other than that, it’s hard to say.

“We’re really going to miss our customers,” Scully said. “But it’s really time.”

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