A new local retailer is hoping to cash in on mountain homeowners who want to furnish their homes with high-end gaming tables and rare furniture.
Sam Christensen opened Ultimate Mountain Living at 858 Main Ave. on Nov. 7. He sells Brunswick and Olhausen pool tables along with off-beat furniture pieces.
Most of his inventory is intended for luxury homes. Christensen hopes to serve the market of luxury ranches and mountain homes in Southwest Colorado.
“I’m pretty confident once it gets advertised enough, there’s a lot of money to go around,” he said.
Christensen intends to deliver to a wide geographic area, from Farmington to Telluride, and Cortez to Pagosa Springs.
When you’re paying several thousand dollars for a pool table, it’s nice to have it delivered.
Christensen, age 39, got into the business with a college job installing pool tables in the Denver area. After moving to Durango last year to take a job as a financial analyst at Mercy Regional Medical Center, Christensen realized no one in the area was selling high-end pool tables.
He put in $40,000 of his own money and secured an $80,000 Small Business Administration loan from First Southwest Bank. He worked nights getting the store ready while still working at Mercy.
Now he’s concentrating on getting Ultimate Mountain Living up and running.
“It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do – get out on my own,” he said.
He arranged to get Brunswick and Olhausen’s territorial rights for the area. One ponderosa pine Olhausen table he carries costs $5,966, including delivery and installation.
The rustic look is in, said Kelly DiGiacomo, an agent at Durango Mountain Realty.
“The trend here at the mountain is definitely Colorado rustic style,” she said.
Most mountain homes need to be furnished after purchase, especially for second-home buyers who suddenly have another residence to furnish, said John Wells, owner-broker of The Wells Group.
“When people buy a second home or vacation home, they’re not buying it furnished,” he said.
Sales of mountain homes rose during the third quarter to 24, up from 18 a year earlier. They sold for a median price of $504,950.
Besides pool tables, Christensen also has foosball, table tennis and shuffleboard tables. He’s also selling furniture.
“The idea was originally going to be pool tables,” he said. “I needed to diversify a little bit.”
He’s brought in a line of wood patio chairs from Warehouse 2120, of Hickory, North Carolina. The chairs were built from Bail boat wood.
“It’s very artsy,” he said. “All of the pieces are unique.”
When spring comes, Christensen plans to add several lines of high-end patio furniture, including OW Lee, Tommy Bahamas and Homecrest.
“I’m very excited to bring to Durango and the region more options than what the big box stores offer,” said Christensen.
Christensen’s location places him in the heart of downtown Durango. The approximately 2,700-square-foot storefront is owned by Julie Rea of Phoenix.