The new Family Dollar store in Westcliffe seems rather alien to the town with its bright red and orange sign backdropped by the Sangres, but now area residents no longer need to drive far for a selection of inexpensive plastic things made in China.
While Family Dollar isn’t the first chain store to set up shop in Westcliffe, its opening seems like a pivotal moment in the area’s economic history, right up there with the establishment of a railroad head in the 1800s, the ski area scheme of the 1980s and early 90s, and the great grocery store war of the late 1990s.
When you’ve lived here as long as I have, you can remember visiting the old F&S Hardware Store on 2nd Street long before there was a Valley Ace Home Center. And Valley Fuel was where we bought rubber for our vehicles before Jared ever had a spare tire to lose at Subway. Jennings Market kept us in grub between trips “Down Below” before Westcliffe Super Market opened.
But a discount convenience chain store really is a sign of changing times.
There are reportedly about 6,600 Family Dollar stores natonwide. I bet the people who operate these things have a pretty good idea where they can sell a lot of plastic stuff from China, and Westcliffe just might be one of these places.