Meadows shops offer PIF-free holiday shopping |

Meadows shops offer PIF-free holiday shopping

Post Independent/Kelley Cox

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. ” This weekend begins the holiday shopping season, and a group of store owners wanted to start it off with a party.

Merchants of the Glenwood Meadows Shopping Center are holding the Market Street Celebration on Saturday, Nov. 25, at Glenwood Meadows as a bit of a kickoff to the holiday season.

“Most of the merchants decided that it would be a good idea to have a kickoff to let people know that we are open and to have them come out and enjoy the new shops,” said Brad Carner, owner of Gracy’s clothing store.

The shops at Meadows have been open for close to a year with 17 smaller retailers to date operating alongside the larger stores like Target, Lowe’s and Pier One Imports. These smaller stores wanted to do something to show the community how much they appreciated the great support they’ve received over the first year of business.

“We really wanted to draw attention to the Market Street businesses,” said Tory Jensen, co-owner of Moe’s Southwest Grill. “Everyone knows that the big stores are here, but most of the others are locally owned businesses. We are trying to change the perception of the shops here.”

Stores such as Gracy’s will offer customers 10 percent off on everything in the store and 15 percent off all fur coats. Other stores will have similar sales in addition to live music from Louie and the Lizards and a $2 beer and wine garden. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to LIFT-UP.

“This is a way for us to say thanks to the community,” Jensen said.

But thanks isn’t all that these business owners are saying. Starting this weekend, the public improvement fee (PIF) will be paid for by the business owners themselves.

“We cannot waive the PIF,” said Alisa Tillung, owner of Smoothie King. “But what we can do is pick up the tab so that the customers don’t have to.”

The PIF is a 1.5 percent fee ” not a tax ” designed to fund infrastructure improvements at or around Meadows. So far the fee has paid for a number of improvements around the development including the roundabouts at the I-70 interchange in west Glenwood Springs.

According to Glenwood Springs Finance Director Michael Harman, the city doesn’t benefit from the fee in any way except a collection fee for collecting the funds in a manner similar to a tax. The funds are then routed into an account for the developer.

Most of the shops will cover the fee for the holiday season and, Tillung said, it’s up to the owners’ discretion how long they wish to do so.

Shop owners came together to form the Successful Business Network, a sort of committee of store owners, at Meadows. Together they educated themselves on the PIF and decided that it would be a good idea to pay it themselves.

“The general idea is to eliminate the fee as being paid by the customers,” Jensen said.

The larger retail stores like Target, Lowe’s, and Pier One aren’t included in the PIF-free celebration, only the smaller shops in the development are participating.

“It’s important that people understand the importance of the development and not to focus on the fee,” Tillung said. “We want people to come out and enjoy the shops.”

Contact John Gardner: 945-8515, ext. 16604

Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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