Many Montezuma County hunting enthusiasts turned out Saturday for the grand opening of the new Goods for the Woods store in Cortez.
The family-owned sporting goods store has been open in Durango for more than 30 years, but Cortez manager Seth Taylor said he and the rest of the family decided it was time to branch out this year. Their new location has been open for business at 24720 County Road K.3 for about three months, but Taylor said much of that time was spent making the building’s exterior more presentable.
During the crowded opening on Saturday, employees showed off the store’s wide selection of weaponry and its indoor and outdoor archery ranges, while representatives from sporting companies and local shooting clubs advertised their own wares.
Even before the grand opening, Taylor said business in Cortez was good. Montezuma County residents made up a large part of the store’s clientele even when it was only located in Durango, he said.
“There’s a huge market out here for us to actually pick up on,” he said. “It’s the type of lifestyle everybody has out here. Other than fishing and camping, we supply all of it.”
The store stocks guns, ammunition, bows and many other hunting supplies. Taylor said he hopes to offer more camping supplies in the future, but it’s not clear when that will happen.
Jane Gustafson, the store owner and Taylor’s mother, said Goods for the Woods has always been a family effort. Taylor and some of her other family members built the exterior of the new building with lumber they cut themselves, and most of the full-time employees are related. Gustafson’s son Eric Taylor will continue to manage the Durango store at 307 S Camino Del Rio, while his brother mostly takes over in Cortez. Gustafson, who currently commutes from New Mexico, said she and her husband hope to move to the Montezuma County area eventually, but that’s not why she decided to open a store there.
“I felt like the Lord was saying, ‘Come to Colorado and put a store in Cortez,’” she said. “If He leads us again, we might open another one.”
Right now, though, she and Taylor said they plan to focus on spreading the word about their Cortez location. Taylor said he believes the store’s selection of high-quality goods will help it stand out from other sporting goods stores in the area. But it also has two of Montezuma County’s largest archery ranges. The store features a 30-yard indoor range and a newly opened outdoor range that covers more than 2 miles. Both are designed to accommodate adults and children.
Some representatives from Goods for the Woods’ suppliers attended the grand opening to advertise their wares. Norman Bowie, of the Four Corners Rifle and Pistol Club, held a raffle to support the Junior Shooters classes, and radio station KISZ played country music outside while customers browsed.
Although the store is partly hidden from traffic by a hill on U.S. Highway 491 near the Maverik gas station, Gustafson said she thinks the new sign on the highway and word of mouth from Saturday’s visitors will lead to much more recognition for the Cortez location.
“The idea of today ... was foot traffic, foot traffic, foot traffic,” she said. “We really hope we have a lot to offer this community.”