“Leadville Outdoors” Opens at 3rd & Harrison
Leadville – and – Outdoors. It seems like the two words just naturally go together. And starting today, these two words will come together on the corner of W. 3rd & Harrison in the form of a new business: Leadville Outdoors.The new sign for Leadville Outdoors is set in place at the corner of 3rd & Harrison in downtown Leadville. The GRAND OPENING is today!
The latest venture by local businesswoman Donna Chapman, the historic building at 225 Harrison Avenue will once again house a sports retail shop with outdoor gear and clothing. Today’s Grand Opening celebration of Leadville Outdoors will include music, refreshments and of course – shopping! The party kicks off at 5 p.m. Everyone’s invited.
“We are proud to revive this landmark and continue its fine tradition of providing Leadville locals and tourists a welcoming place to shop for outdoor gear and clothing,” said Chapman, the new owner of the building and store.
Leadville Outdoors will be managed by Heather Glyde, formerly of Sawatch Backcountry. Glyde brings many years of experience in retail to the new business.
“We’re fortunate to have Heather’s unique skills in outdoor retail, her knowledge of the back country trail systems in supporting locals and visitors, and her love of all things Leadville and all things outdoors!” said Chapman.
Most locals fondly remember the former business that stood at the corner of 3rd and Harrison for years: Bill’s Sport Shop. From 1964 to 2011 the two-story brick structure was home to this long-standing “ski shop”, originally started by Bill Copper back in 1957. Copper started his business – which was originally a furniture and sports shop – after he returned to Leadville from serving in World War II. The former Bill’s Sport Shop survived the boom and bust cycles on Leadville’s main drag, but finally closed its doors in 2011, after the shop was successfully run for many years after Copper’s death, by his wife Mary Jo, son Paul with his wife Dee Dee.Old school meets new technology at Leadville Outdoors – like these vintage skis.
But like many brick and mortar locations still standing on historic Harrison Avenue, this building has a history that dates back to the earlier days of The Cloud City.
According to former owner Paul Copper, initially the property was part of the Starr Placer, owned by Thomas Starr, one of Leadville’s earliest, and said to be, most dedicated miners. At one point, the building served as a saloon (is there a building in Leadville that hasn’t been a watering hole?!) It’s said that the original bar is now at The Grill located down on Elm Street.
Today, the outside of the building doesn’t look too different other than a new sign, crafted by a local artist (and owner of the soon-to-be open Harrison Avenue whiskey house: Two Guns Distillery). However, the interior has been restored, bringing back to life many original elements including the refinishing of the original pine floors. Hats off to local craftsman Rob Sickler, who designed the space, and has been working hard “to make it happen.”
So, come join the party – TODAY – on the corner of 3rd & Harrison. In addition to the usual festivities, the Cloud City Conservation Center will also be presenting the first in a series of films; tonight’s starts at 7 p.m. The weather is forecasted to be warm and sunny, at least before the next storm comes in this weekend – seems like a great day to celebrate Leadville Outdoors! Congratulations!