Gallery owner optimistic about winter business

BY Kevin Duke<br />Staff writer

EAGLE NEST — Stacy Ewing decided to buck the trend last winter in Eagle Nest.

She and her husband, Bill, decided to keep their store, the Spirit Wind Gallery, open during the winter months when traditionally most of the retail stores in the village were closed.

“We decided we needed to keep the store open,” Ewing said. “You can’t make money if the doors are locked.

“We opened up and we were really surprised at how much business we got. We had a lot of people coming through looking for Christmas gifts, killing time after they got done skiing, or they were just in between travelling to dinner.”

Customers at the gallery were pleased when they found the store open, according to Ewing.

“They were surprised to find another business open, because the year before Zella’s was the only shop open,” she said.

Staying open translated into dollars for the gallery, and that’s what mattered to the Ewings.

“Having the store open we got a lot of traffic in. We had sales and that’s just all there is to it,” Ewing said.

Other business owners in Eagle Nest began hearing about their success and Ewing is hopeful that means there will be more options for shoppers this winter in the village.

“Now Hales and Barrow is talking about staying open at least on the weekends and so is Eagle Feather Trading Post,” Ewing said.  Zella’s Kitchen Shoppe will also be open again this year.

The recent opening of the Country Kitchen, the conversion of the D & D Café into a retail grocery store, and Angel’s Attic remaining open Thursday through Saturday will all influence shopping traffic, according to Ewing.

“Angel’s Attic is a big draw,” she said. “I know because Thursday’s are one of our biggest days and that’s the day they open up.

“Last year we just had the D & D open, now we’ve got the Country Kitchen open, as well as the grocery store, as well as four or five retail shops open on the strip.”

The Lucky Shoe and the Laguna Vista Saloon were open last year and will also be open this winter, giving hungry and thirsty skiers other options for dining in the village.

“With the restaurants and the retail stores being open, we actually have a lot more to offer people here in Eagle Nest than they realize this winter,” Ewing said.