Vail Valley Bizwatch: High Country Computer Services
Vail, CO, Colorado
Business name: High Country Computer Services, Inc.
Location: The intersection of U.S. Highway 6 and Broadway in Eagle.
Date opened: High Country Computer Services has been serving government and corporate clients since January 2007. On May 1 we opened a retail and computer service store.
Owners: Kevin and Karen Allen.
Contact info: Call 970-337-4242 or go to http://highcountrycomputerservices.com.
What goods or services do you provide? Our retail store provides a selection of computer hardware and software including keyboards, mice, web cams, joysticks, uninterruptable power supplies and computers. Our software selection includes Microsoft products, antivirus software, learning languages and computer games.
We also offer in-store repair services. In the future we hope to offer a line of Apple products and service. High Country Computer Services was one of the first companies in Eagle County to offer true electronic recycling (not refurbishment). We will continue to protect the environment by accepting items to be properly recycled.
What’s new or exciting at your place? We carry many fun items including “Road Mice”, mice that look like sports or muscle cars for the auto enthusiast, and Laurex brand computer bags which Martha Stewart wrote about in January on her personal blog. We are also proud to carry a line of “MyLife” computer accessories with a portion of the proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a nonprofit organization supporting breast cancer research.
The store also has a line of software including the new Avatar and Harry Potter PC games along with a line of educational programs designed to help younger children do better in school.
We built the store with the goal of not being what you expect in a computer store. Most computer stores have bland white walls with boring inventory. Sure, they are great if you want to buy a printer cable or a power supply but you never expect to have fun in one. Our store is bright, colorful and offers a selection of products interesting to both children, women and yet still satisfy the family technician.
What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? We are proud of the fact we are only charging manufacturer’s suggested retail prices for all of our retail items, and not charging any additional “mountain mark-up.”
We hope people would rather purchase from a local vendor than drive long distances if there is no difference in pricing.
Regarding service pricing, most of our competitors will charge drive time to get to your location, then charge by the hour as they wait for software and updates to download or for a computer to reboot. We only bill for the time we actually work on a client computer, not the time it is downloading or rebooting. This saves the client from being billed excessive charges while a technician is not actually performing any service.
Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: Kevin’s computer education started in the late 1970’s learning Fortran, COBOL, RPG II and Basic programming languages. Through the years he has worked as a Unix system administrator and an Oracle DBA for Nestle USA. More recently Kevin was the area systems manager for the Marriott corporation, managing systems for the San Francisco Bay Area. Kevin consistently advances his education, taking several online, classroom and Microsoft certification courses every year.