Kokopelli Bike and Board Expands Business to Growing Mountain Bike Town
Kokopelli Bike and Board has renovated a historic building in Dolores into a full-service bicycle and rental shop.
Owners Scott Darling and Pete Eschallier have an established bike shop on Main Street in Cortez and jumped at the chance to open one in mountain biking heaven up the freeway.
“The location in Dolores is perfect, all the stars are aligned, and we’re very happy to be here,” said Darling.
Business partners purchased the historic 4,600 square foot Exon Mercantile building located at 315 Central Ave. across from the Dolores River Brewery. It was split between the new Kokopelli Bike and Board store on one side and a rental store on the other, which is available.
Winter hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. You can reach them at 970-676-0060.
The spacious bicycle shop offers a full repair service, mountain and road bikes, e-bikes, BMX bikes and cycling accessories and clothing. They also sell stand-up boards and river surfboards, and do ski and snowboard tuning. Rentals are available.
Dolores is known for its network of cycle paths in the adjacent Boggy Draw area of the San Juan National Forest. Trails that crisscross the foothills favor beginner and intermediate riders and are ideal for families and occasional riders.
Tapping into the growing market was a “no brainer,” Darling said. “Having a good bike shop near some nice trails helps everyone. It makes the community stronger. “
He noticed an increased interest in Dolores as a mountain biking destination.
“For a very long time, people discovered Phil’s World in Cortez. Now more and more people are asking about the Boggy Draw Trails in Dolores, ”he said.
Another motivation is to tap into the tourism market. For example, there has been an increase in RV parks in the area, which caters to a population who loves cycling.
Renovating the historic building built in 1904 was his own adventure. It started out as a trade for livestock, timber and railroad activities in Dolores. For the past decades, the building housed the Traditional Charm Antique Mall.
An effort was made to showcase historical elements, such as the cold room which used blocks of ice carved from the Dolores River. The ceiling rail where the beef sides were hung by the butcher remains. The Exon Mercantile sign on the facade of the building will be retained.
A freight elevator that works with a series of weights and cables still works to access basement storage.
The original wood floors have been restored, the electricity and plumbing have been upgraded. The old wallpaper has been peeled off to reveal well-preserved woodwork.
Like all bicycle shops, Kokopelli faces supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic, which is likely to continue.
After waiting a year, Kokopelli finally received a freight delivery of new bikes, and the inventory improved. The availability of bike frames has rebounded, but accessories are harder to find as factories in Asia are either closed or not operating at full capacity.
“It’s a tough place, the pandemic has caused more people to ride bikes, but stock availability has not yet fully recovered,” Darling said.
When the global economy stabilizes, Kokopelli is able to nurture the growing cycling culture in the region.
“The community has come together to make Dolores a cycling town, and we are thrilled to be a part of it,” said Darling.