Vail Valley Bizwatch: Bogart’s Gun Shop, downtown Eagle
Vail, CO, Colorado
Business name: Bogart’s Gun Shop.
Date opened: Nov. 1, 2008.
Owner: Jim Kelly.
What goods or services do you provide? We stock between 80 an 100 handguns and approximately 50 long guns at any time. However, we can order just about anything. We also carry targets ammunition, holsters and other accessories.
What’s new or exciting at your place? Bogart’s offers Denver pricing without the drive or hassle. We have started adding Smith and Wesson Collectors handguns to our inventory. These are highly sought-after and difficult to obtain. We also hold concealed handgun classes certified by the NRA.
What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? Bogart’s has gone to great lengths to offer outstanding pricing to our customers, even though our closest competition is Denver or Rifle.
What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? What can your customers expect from you? We always do our best to educate our customers and guide them in a direction which best fits their needs.
Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: I have been around firearms since 1964. I am 54 years old. I am an NRA-certified instructor in Basic Pistol and Advanced Home Defense and hold a second-degree black belts in two different styles of martial arts.
I shoot handguns competitively in International Defensive Pistol Association events. I also shot skeet competitively in the 1970’s and unfortunately fell 500 targets short of the world record of 1,250 straight. I’m also the current president of the Gypsum shooting range.
What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? I’m not sure if this was just out of boredom or my twisted sense of humor, but one day I decided to have a social experiment. I took an old long gun case and placed it outside the shop’s front door, and within two hours a customer carried it back in and said someone must have dropped it. I thanked him and returned the case to the sidewalk after he left.
This went on for about five days. Every day, customers brought the case in and every day I returned it to the sidewalk. Needless to say, this is not what I expected. But the more this happened the funnier it became. Finally I gave the case to one of my customers, but don’t be discouraged – you never know what you might find laying on the sidewalk at Bogart’s!