Governor’s visit provides boost for local business

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Gov. Bill Ritter stopped by Boulder Street Gallery on Wednesday morning.

Gov. Bill Ritter stopped by Boulder Street Gallery on Wednesday morning.

When Gov. Bill Ritter’s office called Boulder Street Gallery owner Terry Henderson this week and asked whether the governor could stop by, Henderson didn’t have to think about it too long.

“Absolutely,” he said. “I told them that would be great.”

It was great, not because Henderson is a Democrat, as Ritter is, but because a visit from the governor can bring a good deal of publicity, and Henderson knew it would be a marketing opportunity he couldn’t afford to miss.

“That’s good exposure for us,” he said.

So, after he penciled in the governor and hung up the phone, he began calling the media, newspapers, TV and radio stations, telling them Ritter would be at his gallery at 206 N. Tejon, at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday to congratulate him for the wise use of a loan he received earlier this year from the Colorado Enterprise Fund.

The media, too, knew a visit from the governor wasn’t one they could pass up.

Two TV news crews, a host of reporters and three state legislators showed up to welcome the governor and make sure they walked away with photos and quotes, and audio and sound bites.

And Henderson, along with his wife Jennie, who co-owns the gallery, stood behind the governor and lapped up the free publicity — which will likely get their business’ name in front of more viewers than an ad.

Sports, nutrition combine

Colorado is the outdoorsy type’s playground.

When folks aren’t skiing, they’re hiking or mountain biking.

Hundreds of trails snake through the Front Range of the Rockies, and hundreds of thousands make their home within a few miles of those same trail heads.

Colorado Springs has developed a reputation as one of the fittest cities in the nation, so it only seems logical that sports nutrition retailers might target the area.

For Andy Holmes, a veteran consultant for both the fitness industry and the sports nutrition market segment, those factors weighed heavily on his decision to start a retail operation here.

He’ll open Complete Nutrition during November at the Promenade Shops at Briargate.

Holmes said Complete Nutrition was started seven years ago by fitness and nutrition industry veterans who decided to address the shortcomings inherent in both. He met with company leaders and became an approved franchisee for the state.

“I was given the opportunity for North Carolina, Texas or Missouri, but Colorado seemed like the best choice,” he said. “We looked at the demographics and this seemed like a community that would be open to nutrition and wellness. It’s not recession proof, but this is a community that is proactive in making nutrition a priority.”

If the 1,700-square foot store, Colorado’s first, performs as well as he thinks it might, more will follow in the years ahead, mostly north along the Front Range.

He also believes the economy is ready to take off again.

“It’s kind of exciting to jump in now and slowly grow my business along with the economy,” he said. “Of course it’s scary. It’s a gamble, but I think everything is a gamble. Operating in a market when people are more conservative about spending money makes you a better businessman. You have to work harder to bring people in and understand their needs so you can give the best service.”

Scott Prater covers retail for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.