Thanks to Abbey Carpet, we all know what time it is | PostIndependent.com
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Thanks to Abbey Carpet, we all know what time it is

Time and temperature signs are a dime a dozen in big cities, but can be scarce as gold in small towns.Glenwood Springs was such a small town for at least 10 years, until Steve Weller installed a time and temperature sign in March at his new Abbey Carpets store on South Grand Avenue. Appreciative folks responded right away.”They come in and say, `We love that sign,'” Weller said. “We hear that a lot.”Weller’s new store is located on a half-acre at 2408 S. Grand Ave., but the sign fronts Highway 82, about 100 yards east of Abbey Carpet’s front door. Weller’s previous location was a hard-to-find site adjacent to the Glenwood Springs Mall, next to a gas station.”People would ask where we were, and I’d tell them, `Under the Texaco star sign.’ I decided if I ever moved, people were going to know where I’m at,” Weller said.Weller, 52, moved to Glenwood Springs from Illinois after college 30 years ago, and worked for a time in the Mid-Continent coal mines near Redstone. Weller always appreciated time and temperature signs when they were up on Grand Avenue, and on 8th Street. “I’d always notice the signs at Schmueser Plaza, and World Savings,” he said. Over time, those signs vanished.Time and temperature signs don’t just spring up overnight, especially in Glenwood Springs, and that’s true for the Abbey Carpet sign.The sign, with its 18-inch numbers that flash from below the 19-foot high Abbey Carpet sign, is anchored only a few feet from the old Denver & Rio Grande railroad tracks, and hangs over the rail right of way. Weller said Denver & Rio Grande never would have allowed his sign to encroach over the right of way, and the location was made possible because local governments bought the rail corridor. “I had to get a permit from RFTA for it,” he said.After Weller bought his property on South Grand Avenue, he investigated the types of signs the city allows. He quickly learned the only flashing signs allowed are time and temperature signs. “I imagine that’s what got me working towards this sign,” he said. “I didn’t think I could do it before.”Weller then learned he didn’t need a city sign code variance to put up his time and temperature sign. At the same time Weller researched sign codes, he also searched the Internet for time and temperature sign manufacturers. He eventually found Alpha Signs in Michigan.”They are all over the U.S., at stadiums and banks. It’s quite a nice sign,” Weller said.Next, Weller had to convince one of his partners, who was leery of paying an extra $5,000 to tell motorists the correct time of day and how hot or cold they should be feeling. “He came around when he saw it,” Weller said.The two time and temperature panels face north and south, so motorists can see what’s going on whether they are coming or going from town. The sign’s clock components are located in each panel, and the electronic thermometer is located in the 10-inch space between the panels.”The temperature gauge can get air, but not sunlight, so it’s accurate in that location,” Weller said.Weller’s time and temperature sign flashes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, except for the few minutes it takes him to set the time forward or back for Daylight Savings Time.Residents are starting to rely on the sign’s temperature reading, especially when they’ve just come down from Sunlight Mountain Resort, or out of the hills where temperatures are cooler. Weller gets a kick out of hearing people comment on the temperature variations that occur within a few miles of his sign.”I think it’s a fun thing to have, especially in the mountains,” he said.Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534lburton@postindependent.com


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