By Halle Thornton
CSMNG Staff Writer
Whether for friends or family, Colorado offers some unique treasures perfect for a present during this holiday season. Here are a couple gift ideas inspired by the Centennial State and the stories behind them.
Colorado Ski Furniture
419 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs
Made from recycled skis, snowboards and locally sourced wood, this Manitou Springs store can be seen driving through the quaint town, and has something for Colorado natives and out-of-towners.
The shop’s mission is to raise the bar on quality furniture that customers will love for years to come and enjoy every day at home or work.
It crafts snowboard benches, wine racks, wall flags, birdhouses, bookcases, mailboxes and even ski lift benches, all available for home delivery.
Additionally, custom designs are encouraged, and the staff will work diligently with each customer to come up with a design that fits them.
Adam Vernom, Colorado Ski Chair manager, has been at the shop 11 years, and has no plans of leaving.
“I started working here because I thought it was a cool idea to do repurposed furniture,” he said.
Vernom said, as one of the managers, he gets to not only build the furniture and gifts, but interact with the customers.
“I love seeing the really happy customers,” he said. “We get to paint peoples dogs, capture a lot of memories and people get so excited they cry. It’s really neat.”
Vernom said most orders take two to six weeks depending on the difficulty.
“We have one-of-a-kind gifts that will last 10 to 20 years. They’re totally Colorado,” he said.
Gift cards are available, ranging from $50-$500. For more information about Colorado Ski Furniture, call 303-775-7273.
Garden of the Gods Trading Post and Manitou Springs Outpost
Trading Post: 324 Beckers Lane, Manitou Springs
Outpost: 807 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs
The Trading Post also sells T-shirts and apparel, mugs, homemade fudge, posters and postcards.
The 25,000-square-foot store is sure to have something gift-worthy.
Its sister store, the Manitou Springs Outpost, was originally built in the 1800s as a stock stable, and is the largest gift shop on the main avenue in Manitou Springs.
Both shops offer unique gifts available year-round, but perfectly suited to wrap and give to someone special during the holiday season.
Cynthia Quinlan, director of buying for the Garden of the Gods Trading Post and Manitou Springs Outpost, said both stores have something for anyone looking to bring their loved one or friend a piece of the region.
“We offer a collection of Navajo and Native American jewelry, art by Colorado artists, handmade hats and Aspen vases and bowls made by Colorado natives,” she said.
Quinlan added the Aspen bowls and vases are especially “Colorado” because when people think of the state, they picture the trees.
“I don’t know who else would feature trees,” she said. “It’s definitely something unique and a great gift for anyone.”
Additionally, the Trading Post has an art gallery, with a variety of paintings made by local artists, as well as unique Native American jewelry.
“The pieces of jewelry we offer are not easy to find and the quality we have is unbeatable,” she said. “We work directly with the native people to get such high-quality jewelry.”
For more information about the Garden of the Gods Trading Post, call 719-685-9045. For more information about the Manitou Springs Outpost, call 719-685-5026.