Colo.'s Ouray Books Re-opens with New Owner, Location

Pat Light is the new owner of Ouray Books, Ouray, Colo., which re-opened earlier this month in a new space at 229 Sixth Ave. The Ouray County Plaindealer reported that Light purchased the business from previous owners Amy and Brian Exstrum, who had put their bookshop up for sale in 2023, but "while it was under contract for sale to a potential buyer last summer, that deal fell through. Before it all came together for Light to be the next owner, it looked like the shop would close, without a new home or proprietor."

Loki at the new Ouray Books location.

Light recalled that he was half-joking when he yelled, "If someone else doesn't buy the bookshop, I'll buy it," to his neighbors last year, but a last-minute series of events made it possible for him to purchase the business. "We threw a little bit of a Hail Mary," he said. "That ball was in the air for a long time and it was a long throw." The last-minute scramble is one he refers to as "a happy memory now, but it was hell at the time." 

Financing came together from both a small-business loan and private financing from a bookshop supporter who came to offer help at the last author event the previous owners hosted at the Wright Opera House in February, the Plaindealer wrote. This was only a week before the bookshop had to vacate its former space at the Beaumont Hotel, due to losing its long-term lease after the hotel was purchased by new owners.

While Ouray Books is in a different space, the selection is familiar and Light has kept the look and feel of the shop consistent, including the same staff members. He said he is looking forward to creating a space that's inclusive and meaningful for the community.

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