Vail Valley business closing after 20 years: Everything on sale at Brush Creek Dry Goods in Edwards
In 1999, Vail and Beaver Creek hosted the World Alpine Ski Racing Championships and in 2000, Blue Sky Basin opened to the public.
Also in 1999, Brush Creek Dry Goods opened in Edwards.
On Saturday, the clothing store begins its flash sale to sell everything left in the store as longtime owners Faith and Raymond Bleesz are closing its doors after 20 years in the valley.
“The store has had a good run, but we’re retiring because we’re of that age,” said Faith, who will be celebrating her 70th birthday this year. “Even though it seems like a small mom-and-pop business, you’d be surprised at how much is involved.”
A new owner will be taking over the space, transforming it into a place for physical therapy. But Brush Creek Dry Goods will be open into February, with everything in the store starting at 30 to 60 percent off, with better deals later into the month, although less inventory to choose from.
“We’re already getting picked over on certain things and certain sizes,” Faith said.
In addition to the clothing and accessories on sale for both men and women, Raymond’s framed photos are available for half-off marked prices. Raymond specializes in black and white photography and is known to capture the beauty of the natural environment.
“There’s going to be a lot of things that we’ll miss,” Faith said. “We’ve made a lot of friends. We get a lot of compliments and people seemed to appreciate us. We’ve developed a really nice clientele and we serve a certain niche in the valley because we’re not selling ski-related clothing or mountain gear. We’re just selling clothing that fits in with the mountain lifestyle.”
‘It would be nice to do something right here in Edwards’
In 1999, Faith was wrapping up 18 years as the controller for the Vail Racquet Club and Raymond was a high school teacher.
Raymond had some experience in the clothing industry, and Faith soon joined him on trips to markets to select clothing.
“We wanted to do something for ourselves,” Faith said, “and we were living in Singletree so we thought it would be nice to do something right here in Edwards.” Edwards was growing and The Riverwalk was being built, so we got brave and decided to do this.”
Brush Creek Dry Goods originally opened in a 900-square-foot space in the Emerald building before needing more space after four years. The Bleesz’s then moved the store to the newest building in The Riverwalk at the time, where the store would stay for 16 years.
“We wanted to be for the locals,” Faith said. “Of course we wanted the people who visit Vail and Beaver Creek to come down here but we weren’t counting on that. We felt it would be a shop more for locals.”
Customers over the years have consisted mostly of second homeowners and locals, both men and women, with a lot of clientele from Cordillera, Singletree, Homestead and Arrowhead, Faith said.
“It was just successful from the day we opened. We were really fortunate,” Faith said. “We were trying to do men’s and women’s out of about 900 square feet and we outgrew it very quickly.”
The new space allowed for more inventory, as well as a couple of employees.
Faith credits Charmon O’Brien and Sandra Wages for helping Brush Creek Dry Goods last for two decades in the Vail Valley.
“We’re overall pleased with the way things have gone. We’ve had a good run,” Faith said. “We’re going out with our heads held high. We have two great women working for us that have been with us for a number of years. They’ve really helped us and have been tremendous employees.”
Brush Creek Dry Goods is known for having nice clothes that don’t break the bank, good for everyday wear or a nice night out at the Vilar Performing Arts Center at Beaver Creek.
“We’ve just tried to please everybody,” Faith said.
When the doors finally close in February, Faith and Raymond will be ready for their next adventure—retirement.
“We’re just tired and want to be retired,” Faith said.
A riverboat trip is planned as well as some road trips, and Israel and France are also on the list. While retirement awaits, Raymond will continue his photography.
“It’s really his first love. It’s hard for me to compete with that,” Faith said with a laugh. “He takes those cameras and tripod everywhere we go. He carries it no matter how much it weighs. He’s always disappearing on me, off taking photos.”
McMakin, 96, loves life as only one can who has come so close to losing it so often, and seen others not as lucky.