Chase and Jen LaCroix, owners of Durango Outdoor Exchange, are gutting the old Pizza Hut on north Main Avenue for a remodel ahead of their planned move to the space in early April.
The outdoor gear and clothing consignment shop, which for the past four years has been located in a converted house at 546 East College Drive, is inefficiently laid out for retail space, and shoppers often overlook items tucked away in various rooms, Chase LaCroix said.
Ample parking spaces at the old Pizza Hut lot, 3677 Main Ave., which has 17,500 square feet of space, is also a major benefit. The Pizza Hut closed its sit-down restaurant and moved its delivery and take-out business to the Crossroads Center, 1316 Main Ave.
Currently, Durango Outdoor Exchange has limited space, and the shop is dependent on a neighboring church, Calvary International Assembly, which allows the shop to use its parking lot when it’s not holding services.
The LaCroixes said they are doing what they can to eliminate the iconic Pizza Hut facade.
“Our remodeling budget is running tight. Other than removing the ornamental trimmings, we’re not going to be able to do much to update the facade. But it kind of fits our business model of repurposing items,” Chase LaCroix said.
Beyond the facade, the LaCroixes plan other upgrades to the building that should help disguise its previous use by the pizza chain.
They are putting in new storefront windows, a patio for outdoor displays and a sliding storefront door to the retail patio. On the retail patio, they will display bicycles in summer and skis and snowboards in winter.
New insulation, drywall and updated electrical, heating and air conditioning will be part of the upgrades.
The new location will provide Durango Outdoor Exchange with only slightly more retail space, 2,000 square feet compared with 1,800, but it will be in one room with better sight lines for shoppers.
The new location will also offer space for an office and storage space for the LaCroixes and their five employees.
The couple is also looking to add a food truck at the new location to offer coffee and breakfast burritos.
The shop splits sales 50-50 with consigners for sales under $300. Consigners get 60 percent of a sale above $300 and 70 percent on sales of $600 or more.