The CSU Bookstore and Department of Athletics have teamed up to bring a new retail store and ticket office to Old Town Fort Collins starting this Friday.
The store, Ram Zone, is located at 172 N. College Ave. The space is divided into a retail store and an athletics office with a conference room and ticket windows.
“We share this space with athletics and we’ve partnered with them for the space,” said John Parry, director of the CSU Bookstore in the Lory Student Center. “If someone wants to buy a ticket for Saturday’s game, they can buy it here, as well as still at the Moby ticket office — that’ll still be the main office.
Parry said the concept is not uncommon and CSU is not the first university to open a space like this one.
“It’s the first time we’ve done it at CSU and one of the things that athletics and CSU is trying to do is get out more in the community,” Parry said. “This gives us a good presence in Old Town and hopefully we can kind of develop some of those community relationships both through the offices and the store here.”
The store will sell Rams apparel and gifts, with quite a bit of overlap from what the LSC Bookstore sells, Parry said. However, Ram Zone will offers more professional wear and children’s clothing.
Parry said he doesn’t see students already on campus having a desire to come down to Ram Zone instead of the LSC Bookstore.
“There’s a lot of overlap in what we sell and the campus store is obviously larger than this with more product selection and stuff,” he said. “We anticipate we’ll have a bit of different customers down here, more of a community member or someone on vacation from out of town, or a student and their parents that are here for the weekend and they come down to Old Town for dinner.”
Parry said conversations about the store started early last spring.
“We talked about it quite a while and then decided to go ahead and do it. We started working on the space probably in May,” he said. “We were hoping to be open a month ago but it’s taken us longer; we wanna make sure the space is really what we want it to be, to look like.”
“Basically what we did is the store’s much smaller than (the LSC store) so we had to pick what type of selection we wanted first and foremost, and then based on that selection, plan where it was going in the store,” said Laura Bowman, a graduate student at CSU who has been working at the Bookstore since her undergraduate studies, and has been helping prepare Ram Zone to open.
“Since we have such a limited space, when I picked a product I literally drew out the store, planned where every single piece was going to go, boxed it up based on quantities. We’re starting to hang it, merchandise, do some cross merchandising with gifts, and of course, staffing the store was a huge part of it.”
Bowman said Ram Zone will be staffed entirely by undergraduate CSU students — something the Bookstore prides themselves on. They will be looking to hire a few more students as the store opens and gets busy, Bowman said.
Ram Zone officially opens Friday, Aug. 2, with a grand opening celebration Aug. 2-4 that will include special pricing and specific items brought in just for the opening, according to Parry. Store hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
“I think I’m most excited to have a presence in Old Town,” Bowman said. “I think campus is so iconic but I think Fort Collins is also a huge part of CSU and CSU hasn’t been represented in Fort Collins so I think that’s a huge opportunity for us.”
Editor in Chief Emily Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.