Sun sets on Watersweeper and the Dwarf in Glenwood Springs
Post Independent Intern
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – After 35 years of business downtown, a Glenwood Springs business is finally closing shop.
Come September, locals and visitors alike will no longer be able to visit The Watersweeper and the Dwarf, a business specializing in works crafted by local artisans.
Cal and Pat Roberts, co-owners of the store, will be attempting to sell as much of the store’s merchandise as they can in the next month. But the pair is not off to retirement any time soon. Explains Cal, “We’re just cutting back. We have a full-time ranch as well.”
However, the ranch is not the only reason why they’ve decided to let go of the store. Last winter, Cal was diagnosed with cancer. He is doing very well and has reacted positively to treatment, but the illness served as a bit of a wake-up call for the pair. “We just took it as a sign from God that it was time to slow down,” says Pat.
The building that the store is in, which is also owned by the Robertses, has been for sale since April or May. “If someone wants to take the store over, that’s fine,” says Pat. But with the economy as it is today, she thinks the chances of that happening are pretty slim.
The Watersweeper and the Dwarf’s name comes from its original owners, who each dreamed a part of it on the same night. The name’s eclectic nature seems to complement its contents, which range from handmade wood boxes and puzzles to candles and incense. There’s even a Christmas room upstairs, a remnant of Pat’s holiday passion that she used to indulge by doing Christmas Around the World.
In the past, everything in the store was made by artisans, many of whom live around Glenwood Springs. Over the last few years, the Robertses have introduced a few nonartisan items, like Precious Moments figurines. But in general, they have tried to stay true to the store’s individual and unique nature.
The Robertses, who formerly owned Teddy’s Corner before a fire forced it to close in 2006, feel that big box stores like Target have put pressure on downtown businesses like the Watersweeper and the Dwarf. “I think people still like to come in and get one of a kind things,” says Pat, “but they don’t want to pay the one of a kind price.”
Cal agrees that local businesses have seen better days. “The downtown has diminished over the past few years,” says Cal. “Business has been kind of slow for some time, even before the recession. Vacancies have been increasing, which in turn makes it harder for existing businesses to draw in customers.
Still, the store has its share of loyal patrons. From die-hard locals to visitors who return to Glenwood each year, there is a devoted group of fans that will be very sad to see it close. For store veterans and newcomers alike, now is the perfect time to cash in on some deals that the store is offering.
“We have everything right now in the store that’s 25 percent off,” says Pat. Sales will continue to increase over the next few weeks, but many artists will be coming in soon to pick up their work before it becomes too discounted. The sooner people stop by, the more likely it is that they’ll be able to purchase handmade goods that, according to Cal, “probably won’t be available at the local stores.”
But more importantly, there are only a few weeks left to talk with Cal and Pat, two locals that are incredibly thankful to all their patrons and supporters over the years. “We’d just like to say goodbye to everybody,” says Pat.
The Watersweeper and the Dwarf is located at 717 Grand Ave., next to the bridge. The phone number is 945-2000.
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