Cracks & Racks provides help to the max after a rock smacks your windshield
Scott Vold said he didn’t come up with the idea of Cracks & Racks, but he does take credit for executing it.The front part of his new store on Highway 133 in Carbondale features a full line of sports racks for vehicles and the home. In the back part of the store he replaces windshields and repairs windshield cracks.”As far as I know, nobody else combines these two industries,” said Vold, who has operated a Cracks & Racks at the Aspen Airport Business Center for six years.Vold, 32, is a Chicago native whose kind of story has been heard a time or two in these parts: graduate from college with a BS in actuarial mathematics, can’t find job in the field, take friends’ advice and move to Aspen, land first job as a bellhop at the Hotel Lenado, move up to the Chart House, later take day jobs shooting video of skiers and detailing cars, branch out to repairing windshield cracks during the off season in 1996.”I heard rock chips can be repaired, so I researched it,” Vold said in his Carbondale store’s showroom. “I borrowed a thousand bucks from my parents and went for it.”Vold added the sports rack retail side to his Aspen store in 2000.”Our shop was already set up for working on cars,” Vold said. “Our glass technicians are highly skilled people. To install windshields is much more elaborate than installing a rack, so I figured this would be a perfect match for us.”Vold is a hockey player, with a solid build and Andre Agassi smile. When he strode into Cracks & Racks Thursday morning in shorts and polo shirt, his tail-wagging black Labrador, Tsava, was at his heels. Two other dogs were already lounging around in scheduler Cheryl Cain’s office.Inside Cracks & Racks the walls are full of Thule and Yakima cargo boxes and racks for bikes, skis and other items that can be hauled atop a vehicle. Vold is enthusiastic about his product line, including Racor.Racor racks are fastened to interior or exterior walls in homes, sheds and garages. They are made to handle everything from lawn and garden supplies to skis, tennis racquets, footballs and golf bags.”This is a really neat product,” Vold said. “It works great for organizational purposes, and creates more space where people want it.”Vold said, “Good morning,” to windshield technician Micah Ross and Cain, petted the dogs, then headed to the back to show where the car work is done. He joked about his degree in actuarial mathematics, used by the insurance industry and in figuring employee benefits. “It comes in handy when I’m measuring racks … but I’m a little out of practice on statistics and probabilities.”Cracks & Racks is located in Red Rock Plaza, in the former Valley Journal location. Vold said he finally found the space after looking for a Carbondale location for more than a year. An air compressor now sits 15 feet off the floor over the module where Journal reporters used to huddle and exchange news and rumors.The back half serves as a bay for working on cars, plus storage for windshields and racks. “We carry a lot of inventory,” Vold said about his racks. “We want people to come in and get it. People don’t have to catalogue shop for racks here.”If Cracks & Racks doesn’t have a windshield in stock, it places daily orders to Denver at 3 p.m., and they are delivered overnight to a storage unit in back. “We’re ready to go at 8 a.m.,” Vold said.After helping Ross adjust a windshield he had just installed, Vold headed back to the front of the showroom, and looked out across Highway 133 at the field where the Crystal River Marketplace might sprout up some day.Vold is reluctant to comment one way or another on whether the marketplace would be good or bad for Carbondale and existing businesses, but is quick to compliment the row of small shops in Red Rock Plaza.”This plaza is great. The Tortilleria rocks. We’re happy in this spot,” he said. “I’d like to see more of this style of store.”Standing on the tile entryway just inside the store, with a wall of windows facing the hills to the west, Vold said, “I really like this place. I like being in Carbondale.”The best part of the business is the people Vold meets.”I’ve had the chance to meet lots of locals who I find fascinating,” he said. “Your everyday person has been around the world, or done something extraordinary, or they are ranchers whose families homesteaded here 100 years ago. I have a great deal of respect for the people who live here.”Cracks & Racks is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The telephone number is 925-2287.
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