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Black Friday boosts local business sales ahead of December drag

Thanksgiving 2022 resembles typical holiday shopping season for small shops on Main Avenue
Tracy Roach, right, manager at Blues Mtn & Soul on Main Avenue, assists customer Jessica Marsh on Saturday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

After a Black Friday boost in sales, businesses on Main Avenue are looking forward to Noel Night next Friday to hold them over until holiday shopping picks up pace just before Christmas.

Black Friday broke some of the monotony felt by small businesses during the slow fall shopping season this year in Durango, store owners and managers on Main Avenue said on Saturday. Thanksgiving week 2022 proved to be a pretty typical one, with a boost in sales on Friday and an uptick in customers who are eyeing potential gifts.

Some businesses are looking forward to nonprofit Local First’s Noel Night, the annual shopping tradition brought to life 20 years ago in support of local businesses, for another boost in sales before customer activity slows down again between now and Christmastime.

Downtown Durango was full of shoppers making their way down Main Avenue on Saturday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Some people out in Durango on Saturday were getting some casual holiday shopping done while others have already gotten their shopping taken care of and out of the way.

Tracy Roach, store manager at Blues Mtn & Soul, a print art gallery at 915 Main Ave., said they had more business on Black Friday than they’ve had in at least a month.

She was on the lookout Saturday morning for a man who was expected to pick up a Beastie Boys print his mother purchased for him.

She greeted a guest who entered the store with, “Are you the Beastie Boys guy?”

Roach has noticed a lot of customers talking among themselves recently, whispering, “I want that,” as they eye one of the many featured prints by Durango painter and illustrator Brian Banash, who creates all of the gallery’s art. He’s a painter, illustrator, graphic artist, sketch artist and designer, she said.

Banash’s print of the blues rock musician Stevie Ray Vaughan has caught a lot of attention from shoppers lately, she said.

A Stevie Ray Vaughan print at Blue Mtn & Soul by Durango artist Brian Banash has caught the eyes of quite a few holiday shoppers, Tracy Roach, store manager, said on Saturday. Black Friday was the busiest day for the print art gallery at 915 Main Ave. in at least a month, Roach said. She said she expects Durango’s annual Noel Night on Dec. 2 to be another popping evening for the business. (Christian Burney/Durango Herald)

“Everything in here is a print,” she said. “And so we also offer some designs and logos on T-shirts and sweatshirts. We have hats. Greeting cards. Some of the typical touristy things. But we consider ourselves to be more of an art shop.”

These days, Roach said she is busy preparing Blues Mtn & Soul’s online gallery for the off season expected right after the new year. The hope is that an online store will bolster business.

Roach said she and Banash are looking forward to Noel Night because business is expected to be strong. They are planning to feature musician Robert Webster in the evening.

Amanda Bierma, owner of Out of the Blue, a gift store at 645 Main Ave., Black Friday business was good this year and at this point, most customers stepping into her store are doing holiday shopping.

Out of the Blue sells a variety of apparel and knickknacks and it’s difficult to say if customers are gravitating toward any certain items in particular. But pajamas appear to sell well during the winter holiday season, she said.

Neil Johnson with La Plata On Main, a women’s apparel boutique at 651 Main Ave., also said Black Friday was strong this year and his second location at Durango-La Plata County Airport has been busy.

He too expects a lull in business to hit until holiday shopping picks up more speed around Dec. 14 after kids go onto winter break.

It’s common for La Plata On Main to attract shoppers who have traveled to town for the weekend; women from Albuquerque, Pagosa Springs and Farmington are frequent visitors, he said.

Joe Montoya and his family traveled from their home at the Hopi Reservation in Arizona to drop their daughter off at Fort Lewis College. They had some spare time and decided to wander around downtown Durango and possibly do some light holiday shopping.

Downtown Durango was full of shoppers making their way down Main Avenue on Saturday. Tracy Roach, store manager of Blues Mtn & Soul, a print art gallery featuring the works of Durango artist Brian Banash, said Noel Night on Dec. 2 will probably be a busy evening for the gallery at 915 Main Ave. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

He said he doesn’t have any particular gifts in mind, but if something catches his eye, that’s what he’s shooting for.

Denice and John Chavez of Albuquerque knocked out all of their holiday shopping on Black Friday. Denice said she bought jewelry and will take care of wrapping the gifts; John plans to watch football, he said.

The couple visits Durango every year for Thanksgiving. They don’t have family in town, but they know Josh Steinlauf at Azul Gallery and like to support his gallery and other local businesses.

“We go to the distilleries and we buy some of the bourbons and stuff like that to take home,” John said.


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