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Photo business closes

Dennis WebbPost Independent STaff

As the picture faded to black for one photography business in Glenwood Springs, it got somewhat clearer for a second one.The recent closing of Digitech vastly improves the chances of The Dark Room surviving, said Dark Room owner Dave Osborne.”It should be our salvation,” Osborne said. “We’re not dividing the pie as much.”Osborne said it’s hard for a business like his to make it these days.”It’s been tough. It has been real tough, obviously, for any small business, but with the Internet and the box stores, it’s been tough for everyone.””It’s juggling. I sit here with a stack of checks and figure out which one I’m going to send out each day.”Ron Novak, who with his wife, Debbie, owned Digitech, said it’s hard to answer why they chose to shut down their digital imaging company after some four or five years in business.”There were a lot of factors,” he said.He said the sluggish overall economy might have hurt Digitech as much as anything else.”People aren’t spending what they used to spend with their advertising budgets,” he said.Large accounts were spending every quarter or half year what they used to spend each month, Novak said.Digitech moved about a half year ago from Grand Avenue to West Glenwood, near the Interstate 70 interchange. Novak wouldn’t say whether the move contributed to Digitech’s closing.Digitech worked in visual imaging, ranging from wallet size to five feet wide, Novak said. It did photo reproductions, restorations and large-format displays.The Dark Room has been in business for 33 years and once carried a large variety of cameras. These days, Osborne said, it carries few cameras, and is increasingly offering digital services. It also is emphasizing services such as portraits, Christmas cards and photo restorations.Osborne bought the business about three years ago, and almost immediately moved it from its downtown location on Grand Avenue to a nearby spot on Cooper Avenue.A year and a half ago, The Dark Room lowered its film processing prices to try to pick up a little more business in a market also served by businesses such as Wal-Mart and Rite Aid.But Osborne said he doesn’t consider Wal-Mart competition. He tries to emphasize high-quality printing, adjusted for each photo, in an attempt to try to set The Dark Room apart.Meanwhile, as the decades-old Dark Room tries to make the adjustment to the digital era, Digitech, a business that helped lead the digital revolution, is laying down its arms. Novak said he and his wife have no immediate plans for the future, other than taking a little time off and squaring affairs with customers.He said customers still awaiting finished work or needing to pick up originals they dropped off should call Digitech at 928-8350.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. 516dwebb@postindependent.com


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