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Dillon Borders closing impacts authors, bookstores

Summit Daily/Mark Fox
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Summit County resident and author Mary Ellen Gilliland has written numerous books pertaining to life in Summit County. “Breckenridge: 150 Years of Golden History,” “Summit, A Gold Rush History of Summit County, Colorado,” and “The New Summit Hiker and Ski Touring Guide” are among the many. She publishes her books through her own small publishing company, Alpenrose Press, which she and her husband have run since 1979. When it comes to selling her books, Gilliland relies on local gift shops, sporting goods stores (for her trail guides), and – of course – bookshops. Borders bookstore in Dillon – which announced last week it is closing in the wake of corporate bankruptcy – was one of her biggest buyers.

“Its a huge impact because they have become a huge revenue source for us,” she said. “Borders was very, very big for us.”

Like other local authors, Gilliland also conducted speaking engagements and book signings at the store. She said her first book signing there was the most popular the store had hosted.



Gilliland said 16 percent of her sales are through Borders, which is big for a small publisher. She said this is probably the biggest blow her business has taken since it opened in 1979.

“Its huge, and its devastating,” she said.



Borders corporation still owes Gilliland $1,300, but all the store’s inventory is now controlled by liquidators. The company has directed local store management to not release books to publishers and authors. Gilliland said she spoke to the liquidators and offered to buy back her books, but they refused to sell them to her for anything less than full retail price. She has tried to contact Borders corporation numerous times, but said no one ever answers or calls her back.

“They put up a communications wall between themselves and the vendors,” she said.

Despite all of her troubles with the corporation, Gilliland said management and staff at the Dillon Borders have been good to her. She said a manager at the store told her they’re hurting for their employees, local authors and publishers, and local nonprofits they’ve purchased books from.

Management at the Dillon Borders said they were not able to comment for this story.

When Gilliland visited the store this past weekend, she said it was packed with customers looking for bargains. She said people are buying up as much as they can to satisfy their reading and gift needs for the next several months.

“That will impact the local book sellers,” she said.

Amy Yundt-Gibson, one of the owners of The Next Page Bookstore in Frisco, said Borders’ big sale might have an impact on her business in the short term.

“It could take a hit,” she said.

She said she hates to see another retailer go out of business, but she does think Borders closing will affect her store positively in the long run.

Charles Weber, owner of Weber’s Books and Drawings in Breckenridge, said he doesn’t think Border’s closing will impact his business either way. He said when the Dillon Borders opened, Weber’s never really saw a dip in sales. Weber said the corporate booksellers distance from his location may be a factor.


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