After 40 years in business Book Train in Glenwood Springs will close at the end of April |

After 40 years in business Book Train in Glenwood Springs will close at the end of April

A pair of shoppers make their way down the 700 block of Grand Avenue in front of the Booktrain store on Thursday afternoon. The store will be closed at the end of April after 40 years in business.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent

Following four decades of providing locals and tourists alike with their favorite reading material, Book Train has announced that it will close later this month.

Located in the heart of downtown Glenwood Springs, the magazine, newspaper, book and card shop’s last day will be April 26.

Book Train Manager Rene Haff, who has worked at the shop for the last 27 years, said the store’s closure was still hard for her to process, but she was thankful for all of the memories it gave her over the years.

“One thing that comes to mind is all of the midnight Harry Potter parties that we had,” said Haff, who often sported a Gryffindor jersey at the events herself. “We just found out on Monday, so it’s … still hard to talk about.”

According to Book Train owner Michael Flori, while he and his wife own the business itself they do not own the building it resides in.

“The guy that owns the building, he had a partner and they had some issues and they decided that they needed to sell the building,” Flori said.

Flori explained that, after the building located at 723 Grand Avenue sold, the new owner had other plans that did not include a bookstore.

“So, we basically lost our lease,” Flori said.

Flori and his wife, who live in Nebraska, said that former Book Train manager Carol O’Brien, who retired in September, and Rene Haff were the ones that ran the business’s day-to-day operations and developed close relationships with community members and tourists alike who frequented the shop.

“It took very little oversight from us. All we did was accounting and support and things like that,” Flori said. “[Carol] and people like Rene and Kate, that had been there for 20 plus years. They are the ones that had the real relationship with the town and the people.”

Flori said some parties showed interest in purchasing Book Train, but there was a caveat.

“I actually talked to a few people about trying to sell the business, but everybody wants this location, which they can’t have,” Flori said. “There are still a couple of people that are semi-interested in it, but I don’t have any time to wait because I have to be out of here at the end of April.”

Flori said that, although Book Train had reached the end of its track, he was forever grateful for his staff’s hard work and years of dedication to the small, local business.

Haff said that it was always a breath of fresh air when she saw customers put down their smart phones and pick up a book in the store.

When asked what she would like to say to her loyal customers who frequented Book Train over the years, after a brief pause, Haff answered, “Just, thank you.”

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