Small-town shop embraces local heritage with boutique design
By Patrick Wagner
OAK CREEK, Colo. – Plenty of travelers visit the small mountain town of Oak Creek, Colorado for hunting, fishing, hiking and skiing. Although Oak Creek’s population is smaller than the average middle school, Park Range Recreationals draws most of its business from local residents.
Owners Mark Wellstone, Mark Stepp and Mike Roach work at the 500-square-foot marijuana retail shop off Main Street alongside their wives and one other employee. The retail store may be small in size, but it’s large in design — a trait the owners have embraced since opening in August 2015.
“We are considered a boutique operation in Colorado,” Wellstone said. “We’re in a real tiny, little mountain town up here. Oak Creek, Colorado has about 800 residents. We wanted to create a store that felt like it fit in with the town. Very non-pretentious, but yet really classy. We were walking a fine line of trying not to go over-the-top nice.”
The design of the dispensary was created by The High Road Design Studio, which distilled the feel of the quiet mountain town into the retail store’s aesthetics. Table tops are made from tree stumps to match the dark hickory flooring. The front display case is made from beetle kill pine and spans 12 feet across the sales floor. Products are kept in chrome pots on towering shelves behind the counter, where workers need a ladder to reach the top shelves.
The 14-foot ceiling has what Wellstone calls a “digital flannel look.”
“So it really goes along with the theme of our shop,” Wellstone said.
Wellstone met Roach and Stepp through Park Range’s landlord, who provided funding for a good portion of the retail store. Stepp and Roach had already been operating Park Range Recreationals as a small grow operation and were looking for a third partner to become vertically integrated. Wellstone, who had been trying to find a space in the cannabis industry, said that when he met Stepp and Roach he knew this was the business opportunity he’d been looking for.
“It’s interesting in this industry, how one thing leads to another,” Wellstone said. “It seems to be about being in the right place at the right time.”
Park Range Recreationals became the first recreational marijuana store in Oak Creek at 4:20 p.m. on a Friday.
“Being a boutique grow and a boutique retail store has always been something that we’re really proud of, because we feel that our product stands out above all of the rest,” Wellstone said. “We really like being small. It gives us an advantage, the ability to hone our skills and really learn how to be ultra-compliant.”