March 13, 2014 Updated: March 13, 2014 at 1:37 pm
Texans have been regular visitors to Colorado Springs, the state’s ski resorts and other tourist attractions for decades. Other Lone Star state residents spend their summers in Colorado to get out of Texas’ sweltering heat or move here altogether.
Now, there’s a flurry of activity on the part of Texas-based retailers and other businesses who are galloping into Colorado Springs. Among them:
– Garden Ridge, a home décor superstore, opened in October in the former Target store at Academy Boulevard and Platte Avenue.
– First Choice Emergency Room, which operates free-standing emergency rooms, opened its first area location last year in a former Blockbuster video store at Powers Boulevard and Constitution Avenue, and is remodeling another former Blockbuster at Woodmen Road and Rangewood Drive for a second location.
– Cavender’s Western Outfitters, a family-owned chain of Western apparel stores, is completing construction of its first Springs store on the northwest corner of Powers and South Carefree Circle.
– Golfsmith will open its first Colorado Springs superstore in April, southwest of Academy and Briargate boulevards.
– And Conn’s Inc., an electronics and appliance retailer, is coming to Colorado Springs, and targeting a location in the former Circuit City store at Academy and Platte, although a company official says the deal hasn’t yet been completed.
Patrick Kerscher, a retail specialist with the Springs office of national real estate company CBRE, said it might be a coincidence that there are so many Texas businesses moving into Colorado Springs at the moment. And yet, their arrival is an expansion of what Texas retailers and businesses always have done.
“Texas-based companies usually do well with the Western culture,” Kerscher said. “They have distribution networks set up to support vast areas of Texas. So as they expand, they expand north and to the west. So they hit Oklahoma and Nebraska, Kansas, and then, to the west, it’s a New Mexico-Colorado-Arizona function. We sit squarely in most expansion areas for Texas-based businesses.”
Retail team members in CBRE’s Houston office often coordinate deals with their Colorado counterparts involving Texas and Colorado companies, Kerscher said.
“The markets are similar,” he said. “The demographics are similar. So it’s pretty easy to convince a group from Houston that they’ll do well in Denver or Colorado Springs just because they’re used to those markets.”