My name is Ben McCormick and I purchased Cutthroat Anglers from Jim Buckler on July 1, 2019. I just turned 31 and I’m 9 months in to owning a small business. This is my first official communication to our customers and I had hoped this introduction would be under better circumstances. I am sure everyone has received hundreds of communications outlining how businesses are dealing with the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Keeping things clean, minimizing social distancing, taking every precaution to keep people safe. I’m not going to do that. I’m going to be brutally honest about the current situation in Summit County and our strategy as a business. There is no playbook on this one so we are sticking with honesty…
Summit County Events Timeline
03/15 Vail Resorts suspends ski resort operations
03/17 Vail Resorts announces closure for the remainder of the season
03/17 Summit County closes all non-essential business indefinitely.
03/18 Cutthroat Anglers suspends all guiding activity through 04/01/2020
Cutthroat Anglers Current Operations
Most of our guides work for the ski resorts or ski shops during the “off-season” in some capacity. Most, if not all, of these individuals will lose their current jobs in the next week. Our guiding operation is currently suspended until 04/01, but we are hopeful to reopen this portion of our business in the coming weeks. Our retail space is closed indefinitely and we are now limited to online sales and curbside pickup. This will impact our shop staff hours drastically.
So, what are we going to do about it? The vast majority of our focus is on identifying creative ways to assist our employees while supplying fishing information and products to our customers with minimal physical contact. On the retail side, 30% of all online sales (https://cutthroatangler.myshopify.com/) will be allocated to our year-round shop staff as long as the retail space remains closed. We are offering a curbside pickup service from 9 am to 1 pm daily if you would like to purchase anything in the shop. This will provide the shop staff reduced hours assuming we continue to see demand for this service. Call us at 970-262-2878 or email anglers@fishcolorado if you are interested...
On the guiding front, we suspended operations until 04/01 to protect our guides and all of you. Honestly, we don’t know how long this is going to last but we are hopeful to be guiding again in April. We are optimistic that business will be back to normal come late spring/early summer and the fishing will be better than ever. The more trips we can book now for this summer, the more we can do to support our guides..
My ask from all of you
Honesty being the trend here, we need your support more than ever. It is difficult to predict what the future holds but a little goes a long way right now..
- Buy something online If you are planning on investing in a rod/reel, waders/boots, any type of gear this year. We put a ton of work in to our website this off-season and have plenty of new gear for 2020 in the shop. 30% of whatever you buy online goes to our year-round folks.
- Move your trip back vs cancelling if you are scheduled to fish with us in the next month. We expect to return to guiding in the coming weeks and the fishing is outstanding right now.
- Book a trip now if you plan on fishing with us this summer. This is a huge one for us and the more bookings we get for this summer, the more we can do for our guides. We will refund all deposits up to 7 days before your trip in case something changes in the coming months. Call us at 970-262-2878 between 9 am and 1 pm MST or email anglers@fishcolorado if you are interested in booking a trip.
- Look out for local businesses in your area. I can speak from experience that all local businesses are going through a very hard time right now. Any and all business goes a very long way.
I am confident the world will look back on this event with a different perspective on life. We will fully understand that life is fragile and can be taken away from us at any time. We will spend more time with family and friends, think a little less about work and money, and appreciate getting outside a helluva lot more. We will fish more.
Cutthroat Anglers is a product of its people. A fly shop can have the best website, social media, financial backing etc in the word but without great people, it will never be a great fly shop. Cutthroat Anglers is a world class fly shop because we have the best people that are willing to share their craft with you. Our people have ground it out for 20 years to build this place into what it is today and they have done this by sticking together. I have no intentions of breaking the trend.
Thank you for listening.
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