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How’s Business? Glenwood Music navigating supply shortages due to COVID-19 pandemic

Glenwood Music owner Joe Rodgers stands at the counter of his south Glenwood business.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Glenwood Music is looking forward to honoring instrument rental contracts with local schools but is currently trying to navigate months of backorders due to supply chain interruptions caused by COVID-19.

Joe Rodgers, who co-owns Glenwood Music with his wife, Annie Rodgers, said the schools shutting down in March 2020 really hurt the store’s bottom line.

“So, if 2020 was the year of the shutdown, 2021 is the year of the backorder.” — Glenwood Music owner Joe Rodgers

“That’s our bread and butter — those band rental contracts,” Rodgers said.

“But we’re looking forward to the schools opening in September. We’re already getting strong numbers from the band directors about instrument requests and things like that. So we’re looking forward to that.”

Luckily, Rodgers said there was a high demand for all things musical during the shutdown.

“That really started picking up in May after two months of just being locked up and people stuck at home,” Rodgers said.

“I saw numbers in the industry where all the major manufacturers had record sales this year.”

But the supply chain has put a kink in instrument sales.

“So if 2020 was the year of the shutdown, 2021 is the year of the backorder,” Rodgers said.

“Over half my store is on backorder, with some estimated time of arrival extended to next year.”

Guitars in particular are on backorder, Rodgers said.

“It’s a combination of the shortage of chips that go in the pick-up systems, the wood, the shortage of labor,” Rodgers said. “So what happened is the big boys like Fender and Gibson had to abide by the social distancing guidelines, which slowed production down. They had to buy more floor space in order to accommodate workers. Then you have shipping problems, so anything coming out of Asia, including Japan and South Korea, there’s no containers going back because everything is stacked into Long Beach trying to get into California.”

Rodgers said his concern last year was loss of income from band rentals.

“This year my concern is that we don’t have anything to sell,” Rodgers said.

While the store looks like it’s in good shape supplywise, Rodgers said the established brands are nowhere to be found.

“We have no Fenders, no Gibsons, no Yamaha — when you think about the big boys that people come in looking for, we can’t get them,” Rodgers said.

“What you see out there is kind of — lack of a better word — off the beaten trail guitars. They’re not our biggest sellers.”

Rodgers said he just posted an alert on his website, at GlenwoodMusicInc.com, where customers can put down a 50% deposit for backordered instruments and other products they are planning to purchase for Christmas gifts.

“Because if they don’t get in line now, they’re not going to see it until next year,” Rodgers said. We’re taking a 50% refundable deposit because we can’t guarantee the estimated time of arrival. So the customer can back out.”

Rodgers said customers who don’t get in line now will likely be waiting much, much longer than Christmas to receive their orders.

“Some things are going to be shipped this fall, some things are not.”

Glenwood Music is located at 3102 Blake Ave. in Glenwood Springs.

Reporter Shannon Marvel can be reached at 605-350-8355 or smarvel@postindependent.com.

Personal Finance column: Perennial applications for vintage financial wisdom

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people that they don’t like.”

— Will Rogers

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.”

— Charles Dickens

“Budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.”

— A.A. Latimer

Replace your budget with an intentional spending plan. Tell your money where to go instead of asking where it went. Connect with your core values on what is important in your life and direct the financial flow. You won’t be swayed by media or the perceived “fear of missing out.” Spending with joyful intention within safe boundaries is a powerful combination.

“Everyday is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor; we’ve got 24 hours each.”

— Christopher Rice

Consider that return on life is just as if not more important than return on investment. Money is very necessary up to a point. There is a diminishing rate of return on happiness as it pertains to income. Each person has their unique narrative to live a life on purpose and in their potential. Put forth effort and energy toward people, activities and causes that make you come alive. Using your financial means to pave this path is where you create true wealth.

“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”

— Yogi Berra

Inflation is an integral part of life. Flash back to 1970 prices: a home, $26,600; a first-class stamp, 6 cents; a gallon of gas, 36 cents; a gallon of milk, $1.15. You can either seek to outpace the cost of living — save and invest in broad-based, diversified, tax efficient portfolios (such as real estate and the stock market) for long-term goals. Or you can reduce your lifestyle and choices down the road.

“The Stock Market is designed to transfer money from the active to the patient.”

— Warren Buffett

Investing is different from speculating. Investing requires vision and a long-term focus, goal setting, good habits and mindsets. It is necessary to keep emotions in check and where wisdom undergirds and directs knowledge alongside application.

“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”

— Franklin D. Roosevelt

“If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability.”

— Henry Ford

These two both speak to the importance of character assets. Too often financial assets are the singular measure of “wealth.” Your net worth does not define your self-worth. When you focus on building and enhancing positive, productive character traits, the financial pieces will stay in their proper place to serve you and society.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

— Winston Churchill

Generosity is the secret sauce in creating true wealth. It is foundational for financial health as giving breaks the bind of consumerism. It is a profoundly personal journey and worth taking steps on the path.

With over 2,000 references in the Bible about money, this one is the most misquoted and misinterpreted: 1 Timothy 6:10 – For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Money is not in itself evil, but when it becomes the focal point of life either because of unsatiable desires or life-sustaining scarcity, immorality can bloom. The garden of your financial life needs to be well tended to keep this weed from taking hold.

“Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant.”

— P.T. Barnum

“Master Card” – the irony is palpable. If used wisely, it is a tool of convenience and safety. For many, consumer debt has been normalized and expected, yet holds them hostage from attaining financial freedom.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

— Theodore Roosevelt

To me, this speaks to financial efficacy. We are not victims of financial circumstances. We get to choose — whether it is regarding the financial means you have or the mindsets you embrace. We can plan. We can save and invest. We can work hard. We can choose an attitude of gratitude and a mindset of sufficiency. We can recalibrate and pivot when things don’t go the way we had hoped. Where do you have wins and how do you want to build on them?

Danielle Howard is a CFP® and CKA® with Wealth By Design LLC in Basalt. Check out her retirement podcasts and blogs at daniellehoward4u.com.

Summer markets open for season this week

A vendor helps a customer at one of the produce stands during last summer’s Glenwood Springs Downtown Market.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent file

Summer market season begins this week in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, with the return of the Tuesday evening Glenwood Downtown Market and Music Series and the Carbondale Farmers’ Market starting Wednesday.

Now in its 14th year, the Tuesday market and weekly music is now located along Seventh Street and beneath the Grand Avenue Bridge on the Bethel Plaza. It is slated to run weekly from 4-8 p.m. Tuesdays through Sept. 21, featuring a variety of produce, crafts and food vendors.

Kicking off the music series this week will be Mark Johnson and Josefina Mendez, playing a mix of contemporary jazz and Brazilian classics.

Rounding out the weekly series are: June 29, Feler and Stahl; July 6, Oran Mor; July 13, Johnny Johnston; July 20, Kraig Kenning; July 27, Chris Bank and Vid Weatherwax; Aug. 3, Suzzanne Paris and John Michel; Aug. 10, Feeding Giants; Aug. 17, Frank Martin Duo; Aug. 25, Laurie Dameron; Aug. 31, Hap and Vid; Sept. 7, Larry and Patti Herd; Sept. 14, Vid Weatherwax; and Sept. 21, Queen Bees.

On Wednesday, the Carbondale Farmers’ Market opens for the season from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fourth and Main, and continuing each Wednesday with fresh produce from Western Slope farmers, plus food vendors and local crafts.

The Carbondale Market also features occasional live music starting later this month with Jeremy Isenhart and Dave Halchek on June 30.

Later this month, the Saturday Glenwood Springs Farmers’ Market, sponsored by the Peach Valley CSA, is slated to return to the parking lot between the Roaring Fork School District offices and Glenwood Springs High School.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or jstroud@postindependent.com.

How’s business? Things heating up for Glenwood Springs clothing store

Ivy Rattet, owner of The Fourth Dimension in Glenwood Springs. Shannon Marvel / Post Independent

Business is heating up at The Fourth Dimension in Glenwood Springs. Ivy Rattet, who owns the clothing store in downtown Glenwood Springs with her husband, Miles Rattet, said the store was able to persevere through the COVID-19 pandemic with the help of a loan from the Small Business Association.

Back in March 2020, the store closed down for four months due to COVID-19.

“The only thing that was a huge stress for us was when we shut down we had a store full of winter clothing,” Rattet said.

“We always do a big sale to push out the winter stuff so we can bring in summer clothing. So when we reopened we had a store full of winter clothes, which was kind of tricky.”

The Rattets also welcomed a newborn baby in February 2020.

“We had a corona silver lining. We had a baby that was born Feb. 22, so we got to hang out at home being new parents,” Rattet said.

“So it was a silver lining for us with the timing. But once we reopened, we were slammed.”

Rattet said Glenwood Springs businesses have been extremely busy since restrictions were lifted.

“When we opened our doors people were wanting to get out, which was nice,” Rattet said. “People are still wanting to get out. I think we’re going to have a crazy, busy summer.”

Rattet does want to thank the local customers, saying their business is what keeps the clothing store going and thriving.

She also noted that business is good thanks to an influx of visitors.

“The tourists are coming in hot from Denver. So I think we’ll have a good summer,” Rattet said.

Reporter Shannon Marvel can be reached at 605-350-8355 or smarvel@postindependent.com.

How’s Business?

Every week, we’ll check in with a Garfield County business to see, well, how business is going. Through these stories, we hope to share stories of challenge and success and help our community gain a more qualitative picture of how our local economy is faring. Have a business you think we should check in with? Contact reporter Shannon Marvel at smarvel@postindependent.com.

 

Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado launches series of economic development strategy input meetings

Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado (AGNC) is continuing its public engagement phase for an update of its Regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).

According to a news release, a series of virtual meetings for each of the five counties represented by AGNC Economic Development District are slated later this month and into July. The Garfield County meeting kicks things off, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 18. The agenda and Zoom link registration can be found here.

The other county meetings will take place as follows: Rio Blanco County, June 24; Moffat County, June 25; Mesa County, July 9; and Routt County, July 14. All meetings will be virtual and will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“The June 18 meeting will review goals, strategies, along with strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as they relate to Garfield County,” according to the release. “All those involved or interested in reviewing CEDS components for the county are encouraged to attend and provide input to this portion of the plan.”

The AGNC Economic Development District designation was awarded by the Economic Development Administration in October 2019.

“The CEDS contributes to effective economic development in America’s communities and regions through a locally based, regionally driven economic development planning process,” the Economic Development Administration stated in the release. “Planning, as implemented through the CEDS, successfully serves as a means to engage community leaders, leverage the involvement of the private sector, and establishes a strategic blueprint for regional collaboration.

“The CEDS provides the capacity-building foundation by which the public sector, working in conjunction with other economic actors (individuals, firm, industries), creates the environment for regional economic prosperity.”

After the final regional Economic Development District meeting on July 29, a 30-day comment period will follow. At the conclusion of the public comment period, the CEDS document will be finalized and submitted to the Economic Development Administration for review and approval. More information regarding the CEDS process can be found here.

Rivers restaurant in Glenwood closes doors after 27 years

Diners enjoy a meal on the riverfront deck at Rivers restaurant on its last night before closing.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Rivers restaurant closed its doors for the last time Tuesday night after 27 years of business in Glenwood Springs.

The restaurant at 2525 S. Grand Ave. has been a staple in Glenwood Springs since 1994, offering dining and catering services paired with a premium view of the Roaring Fork River. It also had one of the largest decks for outdoor dining in Glenwood.

Rivers General Manager Anita Wan said the property had been for sale for two years.

Wan said she could not speak to the new property owner’s plans for the site.

“The owner wanted to keep it as a restaurant and sell it as a restaurant intact with staff. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen,” Wan said. “We tried to make it work. The last couple of people interested were mostly developers, and this final deal stuck.”

Rivers restaurant opened in 1994. Prior to that, the property housed another restaurant named Penelopes.

Wan said Rivers employed more than 20 employees.

The 2.62-acre property had been listed for $2.35 million by Coldwell Banker Mason Morse. Glenwood Springs Assistant City Manager Jenn Ooton said a proposal involving the property had been submitted to the city’s community development department, but it was then withdrawn.

The current owner of the property on the Garfield County Assessor’s website is listed as JABE LLC out of Texas.

Reporter Shannon Marvel can be reached at 605-350-8355 or smarvel@postindependent.com.

Phil Long Dealerships acquires Glenwood Springs Subaru

Glenwood Springs Subaru in west Glenwood has been purchased by Phil Long.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Phil Long Dealerships announced the acquisition of Glenwood Springs Subaru, which became effective on Tuesday, according to a news release.

Glenwood Springs Subaru, renamed Phil Long Subaru, is the 18th dealership of the automotive group and now its second in Glenwood Springs and in western Colorado. The automotive group also owns Phil Long Honda in Glenwood.

Phil Long Dealerships is the largest privately held automotive group in Colorado, according to a press release issued Wednesday.

Former Glenwood Springs Subaru owner Jeff Carlson discussed the acquisition with Phil Long Dealerships over a six-month period and never placed the dealership on the market, according to the release.

Carlson is entering retirement, the release states.

“Knowing Jay Cimino and the Phil Long Group as long and as well as I have and do, I am totally confident that the employees, our customers and the community will continue to benefit from ‘our Love Promise,’” Carlson stated in the news release.

“My partner, Carroll Winkler, is keeping the team in place to see to it that this happens. All the best to everyone!”

Phil Long Subaru will be staffed by the same team in place prior to the acquisition, according to the release.

Local businesses redeem over $116K in Glenwood Gold

Over $116,000 of the $201,765 Glenwood Gold dollars have been redeemed at participating businesses as of May 26, according to Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association President Angie Anderson.

“Glenwood Gold works like cash, and participating businesses are reimbursed 100% of the face value of the currency redeemed at their location,” Anderson said.

The Glenwood Gold program was born out of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was so successful that the chamber decided to continue it for years to come.

Anderson said the Small Business Administration estimated that 70% of the dollars spent locally remain in the local economy.

“This increases local tax revenue to support essential services such as police and fire. Local businesses also support other local businesses such as accounting, marketing and so forth, which further impacts the local economy,” Anderson said.

A total of 67 businesses are currently participating in the Glenwood Gold program.

A list of those businesses, along with information on how to purchase Glenwood Gold, can be found at GlenwoodChamber.com/glenwoodgold/.

Reporter Shannon Marvel can be reached at 605-350-8355 or smarvel@postindependent.com.

Aspen Skiing Company makes a dent in the valley’s affordable housing shortage

Philip Jeffreys, Skico’s project manager on housing issues, points out the solar panels on the company’s new affordable housing project.
Scott Condon/The Aspen Times

Aspen Skiing Co.’s $18.4 million investment in affordable housing is about to pay dividends.

Skico’s 43-unit apartment complex at Willits Town Center in Basalt is completed and tenants started moving in this weekend. About 70% of the units are filled, but Skico has openings for the summer and early fall.

The building, called The Hub at Willits, has five one-bedroom apartments, two with two bedrooms, three with three bedrooms and 33 with four bedrooms. The total bedroom count is 150.

The project is all about remaining a viable business as the local housing crisis becomes more daunting, said Philip Jeffreys, Skico’s project manager on housing issues.

“We went from bad to worse during the time this building was built,” Jeffreys said, referring to the housing shortage. “I think people are scared of next winter’s labor market.”

Affordable housing is always tough to find in the valley. Now, it is nearly nonexistent on the open market.

The Lumen Residences at Willits — a project unaffiliated with Skico — are the latest free-market apartments to hit the market. They opened in Willits in March with rates ranging from $2,350 to $2,425 per month for one-bedroom units and $2,900 to $3,000 per month for two bedrooms.

Aspen Skiing Co.’s new affordable housing complex in Willits was completed despite the challenges of the pandemic.
Scott Condon/The Aspen Times

Skico broke ground on The Hub right before the pandemic struck in March 2020. The company stayed the course on the major investment even though its ski areas were closed in mid-March and it lost significant revenues.

Skico’s project includes eight units with deed-restricted rent caps for licensed child care professionals and 35 units for Skico employees.

Prices for the units dedicated to preschool teachers range from $1,050 per month for a one-bedroom unit to $1,430 for three-bedroom units. Skico workers will pay $550 to $800 per bedroom.

“Our goal is to keep housing less than 30% of salaries,” Jeffreys said.

This summer, the 35 units not dedicated to day care teachers will be filled with a combination of workers at Skico and businesses that have arranged for any leftovers. The Maroon Creek Club in Aspen and Roaring Fork Club in Basalt have committed to units through October (contact housingoffice@aspensnowmass.com for rental information). Come November, Skico will use all of its units.

This latest project’s 150 bedrooms boost Skico’s total bedroom count to 820. While much of Skico’s housing is for seasonal workers, there are also year-round tenants. The growing stock helps, Jeffreys said, but the company is always looking at opportunities to add more housing.

He said The Hub provides a wealth of benefits.

“It’s good for the company. It’s good for the community. It’s good for the environment,” Jeffreys said.

The benefits to the company are obvious. Nearly all the units have four bedrooms clustered around a central living area. They are furnished with beds, couches, televisions and dedicated Wi-Fi connections. Some of the units are family-friendly while the majority of the units are more dorm-style. Bedrooms are about 80 square feet but are furnished in a way to make best use of available space.

The living room in an apartment in Skico’s building called The Hub at Willits.
Scott Condon/The Aspen Times

The building has a ground-floor lounge on the south end and a laundry room with spacious seating on the north end. Outside the lounge is a covered patio. Outside the laundry area will be a park separating The Hub from the Steadman Clinic’s new orthopedic care facility.

Jeffreys said the project helps the community by providing housing without generating new jobs. Usually, employee housing only gets built as part of a local government requirement to offset a portion of new jobs generated.

The land Skico acquired came with approvals for 8,000 square feet of commercial space. Skico converted that commercial space to residential. That produced more housing and eliminated potential creation of jobs in new commercial space.

In addition, the high-density housing project will help put the “there” in Willits or, as Jeffreys put it, it creates “place.” It will add to the critical mass of shoppers and diners in Willits’ restaurants and stores.

“It’s going to be uber-vibrant,” he said.

The environmental initiatives taken by Skico at The Hub are multi-faceted. Skico installed an 80-kilowatt solar panel system on the roof. The panels are bifacial, meaning they produce power from both sides. The panels are erected on racks so they are off the white roof and can produce power to their potential even during winter, assuming snow ever piles up again in Basalt in future winters. The panels are expected to offset about 30% of the power consumed in the all-electric building.

“We expect this (system) to crank year-round,” Jeffreys said.

Since The Hub is an all-electric building, its carbon footprint will decrease as Holy Cross Energy’s power portfolio gets greener. Holy Cross has set a goal of getting 100% of its power from renewable sources by 2030. As it marches toward that goal, The Hub will reduce its carbon footprint.

“It will only get better,” Jeffreys said.

Skico isn’t relying solely on the power supply getting greener to reduce its carbon footprint at The Hub.

Eight cold-climate heat pumps will heat all the water for Aspen Skiing Co.’s new affordable housing project.
Scott Condon/The Aspen Times

Eight pieces of equipment the size of large suitcases on the roof are cold-climate heat pumps that pull heat out of the air and transfer it to warm the water needed for the building, without using much energy. The technology has advanced to the point where it works year-round even in the high altitude climate.

In addition, it has separate heating and cooling systems for each unit rather than one mammoth system. The de-centralized system is more efficient.

Skico also installed two electric vehicles chargers outside the building and there is a bike-sharing station outside the north door. Whole Foods is a couple of blocks away while City Market is just a short walk to the west. The new performing arts center at Willits is located immediately adjacent to the south. The bus stop is two blocks away. Tenants who work for Skico will receive a bus pass as incentive to take transit rather than drive a personal vehicle.

Auden Schendler, Skico senior vice president for sustainability and community engagement, said The Hub is the only four-story, multi-unit building that is all-electric in the region, as far as he is aware. He calls the building a “key climate solution.”

“If we were to have heated it conventionally with gas, then it would emit CO2 for its entire life,” Schendler said. “But heated with electric heat pumps, it’s going to get cleaner and cleaner every year as the grid heads towards 100%. By 2030, it will be a net-zero building.”

He said the technology is new to contractors but could be a game-changer as it becomes better known and widely used.

“This is the greenest building we’ve ever done,” Schendler said.

scondon@aspentimes.com

Garfield County going dry? Beer and tequila shortages hit local businesses

Beer buyer for Cooper Wine & Spirits Cody Nelson restocks the beer cooler at the downtown Glenwood store.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Area liquor stores are experiencing supply shortages for some alcohol products due to a variety of factors.

Cooper Wine and Spirits of Glenwood Springs owner Kevin Brady said an aluminum shortage delayed his order for Modelo canned 12-pack cases by four weeks.

Brady said the aluminum can shortage is going on nine months now, which he suspects is due to the popularity of canned hard seltzers and pre-mixed cocktails.

“My speculation is with the increase in adult premium beverages going into cans, I think that’s put pressure on other canned products,” Brady said. “At one point there was a 10-billion-can shortage.”

Brady said he was recently unable to fill an order for Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

As of late last week, New Castle Liquors owner Scott Gauldin said his Pabst Blue Ribbon distributor just received a shipment in and would be able to fill orders.

A cyberattack caused production delays for Molson Coors, which produces Coors and Miller beer products, Gauldin said.

“Overall, things have improved quite a bit,” he said.

“We’re not seeing just mass out-of-stocks across the board like we were last year. At this time last year I was dealing with 40-50% of all my orders being back order. Now, it’s at 10-15%.”

Both Gauldin and Brady said they’re feeling the impacts of tequila shortages.

Production delays due to COVID-19, which forced plants to shut down for weeks in Mexico, contributed to the shortages, Gauldin said.

Reporter Shannon Marvel can be reached at 605-350-8355 or smarvel@postindependent.com.