West Slope Liquors settles into its new location

Cortez business has been around for three decades

Jim Wilson is pictured outside West Slope Liquors, which relocated to 2212 E. Main St., Cortez. Enlargephoto

Caleb Soptelean/Cortez Journal

Jim Wilson is pictured outside West Slope Liquors, which relocated to 2212 E. Main St., Cortez.

Thirty-one years after opening, West Slope Liquors is still going strong.

In early June, the business moved to a larger location at 2212 E. Main, filling a vacancy created when Fastenall relocated to Durango.

Jim Wilson and his mother, Ida Jean Wancura, purchased West Slope Liquors in 1981. Today the store employs 11 people. Originally there were only four.

The business was first located at what had been the Old Circle S convenience store near the junction of Highways 145 and 160.

It was there for 21 years before moving to 1401 E. Main, where it remained for 10 years.

The business needed more room for customers and addition stock, said Wilson, who co-owns the business with his wife, Deana Wilson.

The new location is nearly four times larger than the old one.

“We went from 1,600 to 6,000 square feet. You can get around. You don’t feel like you’re going to knock anything over,” said Wilson, 55. “I was starting to lose business because people couldn’t get in and out. A lot were going to Durango.”

Wilson, who is a Cortez native, has seen a lot of changes in his business over the years.

“When I first started (in 1981), you could take a nap after 7 p.m.”

Now, he says it’s busy from 8 p.m. to midnight.

The move to the new larger location was a time-consuming effort.

He said it took about three weeks to build the cooler and one week to install the cooling system.

West Slope Liquors offers nearly 100 beers, 200 wines and 250 liquors. Locally made beer, Mesa Cerveza from Cortez’s Main Street Brewery, and wine from Guy Drew Vineyards are offered, along with wines from Denver, Olathe and Palisade.

Wilson is renting the new location and is currently looking to sell the old property.

Seniors get 5- and 10-percent discounts on beer and liquor every day, while women get the same deals every Wednesday. On Fridays, all tequila in the store sells for 10 percent off.

Business hours are 8 a.m. to 11:45 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

calebs@cortezjournal.com