When Cynthia and Tom Latter saw space available at 901 Main Ave. in downtown Durango, they jumped to lease it, and have now opened Lazy One Pajamas and Leisure Wear store.
“An astonishing number of people were buying pajamas for their kids or their grandkids for Polar Express rides,” Cynthia Latter said.
The Latters bounced around the idea of opening in Durango but had not pursued the effort until Cynthia noticed the space was available. She had picked up her mother from the airport and come into Durango for dinner when she saw the available space.
The 1,700-square-foot area required extensive remodeling to convert it from office to retail use, but the Latters said the process, which started in late August, has gone smoothly. The couple opened the store on Friday, just in time for Noel Night.
The Latters wanted a Main Avenue location, and Cynthia said she was particularly pleased to get a corner location at Ninth and Main in a historic building, constructed in the early 1900s for the First National Bank of Durango. The building still has an old vault in it.
The Pagosa Springs store largely caters to tourists and locals, many of whom are recently arrived retirees who bring in family to share the wonders of the San Juan Mountains. Those activities often include the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge excursions to the historic mining town and the eight-mile Christmas season jaunts to “the North Pole.”
The store will occupy the corner space that for 33 years was home to the Wells Group real estate office. The Wells Group has moved several blocks up the street to 1130 Main Ave.
Lazy One features all conceivable genres of pj’s, from onesies and creepers for children to an array of styles for adults. The store also features other items associated with naptime – slippers, robes, blankets and sleep masks – and plans to sell a few trinkets, such as dog bandannas.
The clientele at the Durango store likely will be similar to the Pagosa shop’s – tourists and retirees and their families.
Cynthia said the shop aims to sell quality products at affordable prices, with the highest-priced item probably an adult robe at $49.
While rent costs are higher in Durango than Pagosa Springs, the Latters said they anticipate an increased sales volume will cover the expense.
According to a 2017 analysis by the Business Improvement District, monthly rent in the 900 block of Main Avenue ran from $2,267 to $3,258 for about 1,700 square feet.
Average vacancy rates downtown have dropped in recent years, said BID Executive Director Tim Walsworth. In 2016, the average vacancy rate downtown was 3.4%. In 2017, it was 2.8%. Last year, it was 1.8%, and year-to-date this year it’s 1.8%.
For summer, downtown sales tax collections were up 9.9% from 2018, which was expected, Walsworth said, because of the 416 Fire’s negative impact on businesses. Compared with the more normal 2017, summer 2019 sales showed a 6.8% increase.
Walsworth also greeted the latest shop to open on Main Avenue. “BID is excited about this new store that is very unique for Durango. It’s a perfect fit with Polar Express, and who doesn’t love pajamas?”