Vail Valley Bizwatch: Colorado Footwear in Vail, Beaver Creek |

Vail Valley Bizwatch: Colorado Footwear in Vail, Beaver Creek

Scott N. Miller
Vail, CO, Colorado
Scott N. Miller/smiller@vaildaily.comColorado Footwear owner Steve Rosenthal, right, and daughter Robin Wolnick show off some of the store's boots with built-in snow studs.

By Scott N. Miller

Business name: Colorado Footwear.

Owners: Steve and Sally Rosenthal.

Locations: Gore Creek Promenade in Vail, Beaver Creek Village.

Contact info: 970-476-3130 (Vail); 970-748-8681 (Beaver Creek). Our e-mail address is

Years in business: 14.

Why did you open a business in Vail? We’re skiers, and had bought a ski home in Vail. I was kind of retired, so we bought this store. It was successful, so we opened the other store in Beaver Creek a few years later.

What sets your store apart from your competitors? There’s a uniqueness to this store, especially during ski season. The majority of boots we have, for men and women, are bought and designed specifically for this store. For one (the red boots Steve wears around town), we took a buckle from an antique pair of skis and had them reproduced for these boots in Spain. The boots with ice picks on the soles are made exclusively for Colorado Footwear. We also do our own Western boots.

We also carry products from Merrell, Cole Haan and NAOT.

What’s the best thing about doing business in Vail? The consistency of the seasons. We know there will be people in town January through April and June through August.

What’s the toughest thing about having a store in Vail Village? The off seasons are really off. That’s been the toughest thing about this recession. Our off-seasons used to be good enough to pay the bills and keep employees, but off-season is what’s fallen off the most.

Tell us something you’d really like Vail Daily readers to know about your stores: Locals feel like this is a great place for them. They don’t feel the need to go to Denver.

We also run an “I love you locals” special in October, with 20 percent off everything in the store. It gives locals a chance to do their shopping in the fall.

We’re very community-oriented. We’ve taken leftover merchandise and donated it to the Heuga Center.

We’re a family operation. My wife and I own the business, and our daughter, Robin Wolnick, works here, too. My other daughter, Julie, handles the paperwork from Fort Collins. All the kids have worked here when they’ve been home on break from college. Hopefully, we’ll keep the store in the family.

We really work on customer service. We do as much for the customers as we possibly can.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the shoe business over the years? I think it’s the comfort factor. Comfortable shoes are more good-looking than they’ve been in the past. Men have become more fashion-conscious over the years, too.

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