A Cortez business known for its large-scale garden products is going urban, with a new location in the heart of town.
Cliffrose Garden Center and Gifts has operated for about 18 years out of a building on U.S. Highway 160, just east of Cortez. Now its owner, Rick Plese, wants to attract more customers with Cliffrose on Market Street, a new store just a block north of Main Street that he says will have a more urban atmosphere. It’s scheduled to open in early April, at the same time as Wild Edge Brewing Collective, which will share the same building.
Plese said Cliffrose’s current location can be hard for some people to find, since it’s so far away from the town’s central business district. As a result, many longtime Cortez residents don’t know about it. He hopes the new location, on 101 Market St., will attract more of them.
“I’m thinking that element of people that are in town, that don’t get out,” he said. “Also, the tourists that come to the Cultural Center for the dances.”
Although the new shop will have the same name and will be staffed by employees from the main branch, it will be slightly different, Plese said. It’s much smaller, so it won’t be able to stock the wide variety of plants and garden furniture the current store does. Instead, the focus will be on house plants, seeds and home decor with a recycled, “industrial” theme. Plese said he also hopes to stock some new lines of product that he hasn’t sold before.
The new store will also have different hours than the old one. Right now Plese plans to keep it open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., six days a week, in the hope that later hours will appeal to tourists and customers at the brewery next door.
But not all the details are set in stone yet. Like Wild Edge, Cliffrose employees are still at work on the inside of the new building. Plese hopes to be ready to open it in early April, but even after it’s open, he said it will take some experimentation to find the right atmosphere and customer base for the new store.
“We’re going to invent ourselves along the way,” he said. “Initially it’s going to be very similar to stuff we have here, with a little different theme.”
Eventually he hopes the new store will attract enough customers to require some new hires and create its own identity–although the store on U.S. 160 will always be the main one.
“We want it to be complementary to Cliffrose – I don’t want it to be competition,” he said. “If something goes better there, we’ll move it over there, and vice versa.”
Plese doesn’t have any plans right now to expand beyond the two locations.