The Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association (TMVOA) and Darin Hill, the owner of the Market at Mountain Village LLC (MMV) are both pleased to announce that, effective Oct. 1, grocery operations will be transitioned to a new operator. During the transition period, the market will be closed for renovations, with the grand re-opening targeted for Memorial Day weekend 2020. Mr. Hill will continue to operate the liquor store, which will remain open during the renovation.
The comprehensive renovation and remodel will begin next month. The remodel will include a complete re-design and layout of isles, departments and customer flow. The renovated market will include all new modern equipment, flooring, lighting, deli department and offering, as well as a new indoor seating area. The renovation will also include enhancements to the exterior of the building that will provide for a more modern look with more windows and glazing as recommended in the approved Town Hall Subarea Plan that was an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan in June 2017.
The Market at Mountain Village originally opened Aug. 9, 2006. At the time, store co-owner, Mike Lawler said the goal was to try to compete with City Market prices." But, by 2018, TMVOA was compelled to file a lawsuit citing Hill for failure to follow requirements outlined in his amended lease from 2012. “Excessive pricing” and the poor quality of deli items are tops among the market’s failures, according to TMVOA Executive Director Anton Benitez.
“Their selection is limited and their prices are too high,” Benitez said last year. An eviction hearing was held last year in May at the San Miguel County Courthouse.
Last year’s lease amendment was the result of a pair of notices of default from 2009 and 2010 for failure to provide certain required services and failure to sell goods at “competitive” and “reasonable” prices. Since that time, the market was required to offer prices that were no more than 7.5 percent higher than Clark’s Market in Telluride. Pricing is tracked based on a 100-item list once a month. According to three separate independent audits completed since December 2017, high prices remained an issue.
New ownership and an extensive remodel will give the market a fresh start. TMVOA announced this week that the new market operator has a long history of experience in the Telluride region. John Buxman, Jr. of Buxman Enterprises, Ltd., whose father John Buxman, Sr. operated the grocery market on Fir and Pacific in downtown Telluride for almost 30 years is excited to be returning to the area to operate The Village Market in Mountain Village. The Village Market currently operates grocery stores in Edwards, Colorado; Moab, Utah, and Ketchum / Sun Valley, Idaho.
Buxman is happy to return to the area.
“We are thrilled to be back in the Telluride area and look forward to providing Mountain Village with a full-service market offering the highest quality products at great prices,” he said “Our store will provide a variety of services, including a delicatessen that offers fresh, healthy prepared hot foods, salad bar, fresh sushi, an in- store butcher, and an updated shopping experience that customers expect.”
“The Market at Mountain Village has been a great resource for the region, and TMVOA would like to thank Mr. Hill for providing convenience to the Mountain Village residents and guests for so many years,” said TMVOA Director of Operations & Finance, Garrett Brafford. “We are pleased that an amicable transition has been accomplished and look forward to continued high level of service from the liquor store.”
“Through a productive process with Mr. Hill and members of the TMVOA board and staff, we were able to reach an agreement that both parties believe is a win-win,” Benitez said. “TMVOA has carefully interviewed and selected a wonderful operator for our community.”
“We are very pleased that John and The Village Market will be re-joining our community and look forward to the grand re-opening. TMVOA understands the importance of having a high-quality market in Mountain Village and we are committed to work closely with our new grocery operator to ensure the highest level of service and competitive prices that our community expects.”