Manitou Jack's submits bid for bank building

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Tourists and shoppers may soon be visiting the historic former Bank of Manitou building at 814 Manitou Ave. to buy jewelry and Indian arts and crafts.

Manitou Jacks, a long-time jewelry retailer in Manitou Springs, has bid on the building where Bank One will cease business operations on Sept. 12. Mike Carnel, owner of Manitou Jacks, said the deal should close some time in October with a grand opening scheduled for early 1997.

The bank will become the main retail store, replacing the store at 742 Manitou Ave., the shipping and receiving location, and the corporate offices.

In June, Bank One announced its decision to close the 62-year-old bank building and consolidate its services with the more modern drive-up facility at 484 Manitou Ave.

Mike and Dawn Carnel bought Manitou Jacks three and a half years ago when Jack Wallace retired. The Carnels had been supplying Wallace with jewelry and Indian arts and crafts from their Gallop, N.M., business since the mid-1980s.

The Carnels feel the bank is a natural location for Manitou Jacks and don’t plan to do a lot of remodeling.

"We’re going to work very carefully with the Historical Society," Mike Carnel said. "What’s right for them is right for us because that’s part of the charm."

Carnel said he finds former banks attractive because of location and the built-in security. They are considering turning the vault into a retail area for the higher end jewelry.

"Customers will actually be shopping in the vault," he said.

The Carnels have been working to make Manitou Jacks a regional name. Two months ago they opened a store in Boulder. They bought the former Western National Bank at 3770 Citadel Dr. North for $750,000 in June 1995.

They have two stores in Manitou Springs. The four stores employ 27 people. Mike Carnel said he doesn’t anticipate hiring very many more people unless he hires some support staff.

Company revenue has grown 50% since the Carnels bought the store in 1993.