MONTROSE – It’s a “bittersweet” time for Becky and Travis Best, owners of Best Appliance and Home Gallery in Montrose, as the two will be closing the doors of the long-standing retail portion of their business on Friday, Jan. 11.
Since 1995, customers from around the region including Telluride, Ouray, Ridgway and Montrose have purchased home appliances – everything from refrigerators to stoves to washing machines – from Best Appliance but now the two owners will be opening a new chapter in their lives after they close the business.
And while the couple will almost certainly be taking some time to relax after they close, they won’t be completely be out of the industry. Becky and Travis’s son, Allen Best, will continue to operate Best Appliance’s service business and the two plan to help him out when needed.
“We really want people to know we aren’t going away,” Becky said. “Allen will continue the service business so Best Appliance customers can still get the same great service.”
For the Best family, moving toward operating an appliance service business only has, in a way, come full circle. After moving to Montrose from Mississippi, the Best family first came to the area to operate an appliance service business. In 1995 the family opened its first retail appliance business on North Townsend Avenue.
“When we opened on North Townsend, it was a much smaller business,” Becky said. “Travis and Allen did most of the service and I did sales and we grew from there.”
With the region experiencing a building boom in the late 1990s, Best Appliance grew out of its space on North Townsend and so the family moved the business to its current space on east Main Street.
“At our peak I believe we had 14 employees,” she said. “The building industry was just going crazy and so we bought this building and moved over here and added more appliance lines, more electronics and in 2009 we added home improvement products such as flooring.”
When large hotel/condo projects were being built in Telluride, Best Appliance had a hand in those as well. Appliance wise, the Best family handled Capella Telluride (now the Hotel Madeline), Lumière and 12 Trails Edge when they were all being constructed.
“When we first opened, we never thought we would grow this much,” Becky said. “We completely exceeded our expectations. We have met some wonderful people over the years and the fact that we came from a different state and opened a business and were successful says a lot about the community here. The local people trusted us and I will miss seeing our customers.
“It’s bittersweet. We are sad to be leaving a business we have had in Montrose for so long.”
Becky said the reason the family has decided to close the retail end of the business is due to a number of factors. It almost goes without saying, she said, that the tough economic conditions over the past few years have played a part. She said it’s also hard for their small business to compete with the big box stores on the south end of town.
Plus, she said, small businesses are having a tough time competing with Internet sales as well.
“Sometimes people come in and pick our brains because we know our product. After that, they can go wherever on the Internet to find that product at the cheapest price,” she said. “I don’t mean to sound cynical but that is just the way it is. I have talked to other retailers and they are saying the same thing.”
Two months ago Travis was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and the family decided it would be best for both Travis and Becky to get away from the stress of running the retail business.
“Now, we’ll be going to work for our son,” Becky said. “He has a wealth of knowledge and for us to get out of the stress for a while and relax will be good.”
From now until Jan. 11, everything at Best Appliance’s showroom located at 2180 East Main Street, is on sale. The store is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. After that, Allen and the rest of the Best family will be available for services and repairs at 970/240-9798.
“We are so thankful and appreciative of our customers over the years who have been loyal to us,” Becky said.