Local holiday shopping has its advantages, even if it’s online

Ski tech Thomas Sutton works on a set of skis for a customer ahead of the holiday ski season at Summit Canyon Mountaineering.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent

Online shopping is convenient and was exceptionally helpful during the pandemic.

Many people have stayed with online shopping even after businesses fully re-opened. And, for people who still want to do their holiday shopping locally but can’t for accessibility and immunocompromised reasons, there are ways to shop remotely and still help local businesses. 

There are an assortment of local businesses throughout Glenwood Springs and across Garfield County that offer online shopping options. 

And, if you are able and prefer to get out, take a moment to see what the local stores have to offer. There might be better finds and more deals than you would expect. 

Since we live in an outdoors-adventure paradise, outdoors gear stores are ample. One that has been part of the community for several decades and offers a good online selection is Summit Canyon Mountaineering.

“It’s a work in progress,” Store Manager Jennifer Soucie said. “We want to grow, but also I think the reason people prefer shopping here versus online is the tangible aspect of being able to hold it and touch it.” 

Summit Canyon recently started working with the city of Glenwood Springs to provide outdoor gear to the gear library at the community center. 

Soucie said it is easier to talk to the knowledgeable staff and get prices matched. Online shoppers might consider coming in or calling ahead before making a purchase, she suggested. 

Another locally-owned outdoor sports store with online shopping is Cripple Creek Backcountry. After starting out in Carbondale, Cripple Creek has since branched out to many locations in the state and even one in Seattle. 

The online store has its entire inventory of ski gear, splitboarding, hiking, camping, running and biking gear. 

Outdoor and athletic gear and mountain wear can also be found in person and online at Independence Run and Hike in Carbondale, and at Treadz, Factory Outdoor and the new REI Coop in Glenwood Springs.

Western flare  

For those who want to shop locally in person but need to keep space from potentially larger shopping crowds, stores like Bullocks in downtown Glenwood Springs offer private shopping parties that can be arranged with the manager. 

“We offer private groups to shop,” Store Manager Lyndsay Jo Smith said. “We close the store, have some extra employees and some appetizers.” 

Bullocks also offers free cowboy hat shaping and cleaning and customized hats. And, for the holidays, they have free gift wrapping for those who might really appreciate the added touch.

Bullocks has been in business at the corner of Eighth and Grand for the past five years — its original home going back to the late 1940s after the former Hotel Glenwood that graced the corner burned down in 1945, and the site was rebuilt.

“It’s home,” said owner Bill Bullock, who took over the business from his late grandfather many years ago. “My first job was here as a janitor when I was in second grade. I’m still the janitor.”

Another unique feature at Bullocks is the converted baby grand piano in the front window that has been converted into a hat steamer.

“We were going to throw it away because it was irreparable, but it dawned on me it would be a good fixture to put the hat steamer within,” Bullock said. “As far as I know, it’s the only one in the country.”   

Bullocks online store does have a few fun souvenirs of Doc Holiday-themed clothing. Holiday died in the old Hotel Glenwood, and the Glenwood Springs Historical Society keeps a museum of Doc Holiday memorabilia in the lower level of Bullocks.

Smith said they hope to expand the online store but are currently more than happy to accommodate people if they are still in need of a more private shopping setting.

Stocking stuffers  

Another Glenwood Springs store that offers online shopping and a lot of good online deals is Crystal Joys. A jewelry and gem shop owned by a Colorado native, it offers some online deals but better options in shop. The store offers items like bracelets, earrings and pendants. Tree-of-life earring and birthstone bracelets both make thoughtful gifts. 

Osmia is a natural skincare company located in Carbondale. They have everything from handmade soaps to body oils, scrubs and mousse. The majority of their shopping is online, with multiple vendors across the nation, but the only store front is located right in Carbondale.

Another local business that has had a good online selection, even before the pandemic, is Book Grove. They have a well-stocked online inventory collection to choose from with an easy to use search engine. They sell art collections, rare books and strange finds like pictorial maps and decades-old magazines. 

Most book lovers know that books can be some of the easiest things to buy onlive, but, for those looking for a fun gift for their favorite book worm, the Book Grove is also fun to peruse in person.

Homested on Cooper Avenue offers an assortment of pantry treats like preserves, seasonings, tapenade and olive oil. They also carry natural apothecary needs, like aromatherapy and herbs, along with tinctures, teas and natural skin care products — perfect stocking stuffers or gift exchange picks.

Glenwood Toys and Gifts, kitty corner from Bullocks, also has online selection for unique toy ideas, bringing back nostalgic toys from many adults’ childhood. There are also some mainstream and modern toys that are more family orientated like board games and puzzles.

Post Independent reporter Cassandra Ballard can be reached at or 970-384-9131. Post Independent editor and senior reporter John Stroud also contributed to this report.

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