Biz buzz:
OCCA seeks longer store hours

       The Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) merchants group is making a concerted effort to convince more stores to open their doors longer this summer.
       Yellow signs will be provided to those merchants in the Historic District along Colorado Avenue between 24th and 27th streets who are “open late” stores, according to the June issue of the merchants' newsletter.
       At this time, 15 to 20 stores are staying open late, but more are needed to enhance Old Colorado City's appeal to tourists, the newsletter indicates. “Manitou is 'buzzing' with shoppers and activity in the evening - why not Old Colorado City? Tourists and local visitors will be here in the evenings and ready to spend! We already see considerable foot traffic in the evenings to date and it will only get better!”
       Suggested hours for the stores are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday thru Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
       JEI, which puts on craft fairs in Old Colorado City most Saturdays during the summer months, will be organizing a farmers' market and craft show on Mondays in Monument Valley Park.
       The location will be east of the Bijou interchange off West View Place. The hours will be 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The shows will continue weekly from June 27 through Sept. 26.
       Products will include fresh flowers, produce and bread; goat cheese; jewelry; works by local artists; and hand-made soap.
       Westside resident Robert Shoop, author of the 2003 book, “Down to the Wire: The Lives of the Triple Crown Champions,” reports that sales have remained steady over the last year.
       “The thoroughbred racing community has accepted the book as a valuable chronicle of the Triple Crown story,” he said. “Approximately 90 percent of the first edition has been sold and a second edition is planned in the near future.”
       One of Shoop's book-signings last year was at the Wyoming State Fair, in Douglas, Wyo. The first Triple Crown-winning horse, Sir Barton, is buried there. “Interest was high and several people who had ties to Sir Barton's time in Wyoming bought copies and shared their recollections,” Shoop recalled. “As well, the Wyoming Pioneer Museum has the headstone from Sir Barton's original gravesite, and the headstone was on display in the museum, about eight feet away from the book-signing.”
       The Eighth Street Wal-Mart recently donated 14 trees (Austrian pine and blue spruce) to Manitou Springs Middle School.
       Teacher Patty Breece had applied for a grant from the store. She said the 3- to 4-foot trees were available for donation because their root balls were too small to allow them to be sold. But "they'll do fine," Breece said.

Do you have any news about your business? Call the Westside Pioneer at 471-6776.