Loving life & extending the useful life of gear in Durango.
There’s a longstanding observation in Colorado mountain towns: The value of a person’s mountain bike and the car rack they put it on often exceed the value of the car itself. It says a lot about residents’ priorities.
That truth was not lost on Jen and Chase LaCroix of Durango. Fully aware of locals’ passion for outdoor exploration, the couple saw an opportunity. Eight years ago, they took a leap of faith and left their steady but lackluster jobs to delve into the unknown of owning and running a retail outdoor gear consignment store. Durango Outdoor Exchange — with its guiding values of community, adventure and environment, was born.
A couple years later, so was their first child Louis. And Alice came along in 2020. The family’s lifestyle preferences coalesce perfectly with their business, that sells new and used outdoor equipment and apparel. “You can most often find us on the river, camping in the desert or skiing and sledding in winter,” says Jen. “We strive to find balance in owning a business and prioritizing family adventures.”
Environmental integrity plays a large role in the Durango Outdoor Exchange operation. The couple sees reuse of gear and apparel as having a significant impact on the health of the environment, so they make choices that align with those values — like the installation of solar panels and an electric vehicle charging station. “We’re a sustainable retailer here to serve our community and provide a trustworthy, transparent, and successful consignment experience,” says Jen.
Durango Outdoor Exchange operated at its original location on College Drive for nearly five years, then set about searching for a larger space with parking as they grew. They discovered that the former Pizza Hut building on North Main was for sale. “Thanks to Alpine Bank and the SBA, we were able to purchase and remodel the building and parking lot,” says Jen. “The move has been instrumental to the success and stability of our business.”
As they look back, Jen and Chase treasure the interactions and connections they’ve made with consignors, customers and community partners. It brings them joy to see regular customers daily, weekly or seasonally. “We feel connected to their stories and to their families. Knowing that we serve a place in their lives and adventures is fulfilling in a unique way,” says Jen. “The combination of avid outdoor enthusiasts, families, professional athletes and folks in all stages of life provides a perfect merger for reusing outdoor gear. We are grateful for this community and know it plays an important role in the success of our business.”
Learn more at durangooutdoorexchange.com. Learn more about all of our Small & Mighty businesses as well as how our Alpine Bank Durango branch supports the community.
About This Author