* * * IMPORTANT MESSAGE * * *|
Store Is Closed For The Winter
Store will ReOpen May 23 2015 For The Summer Season
Website Orders Will Charge And Ship The End Of May 2015
ESTES ARK IS FOR SALE
We are currently seeking a buyer for our business, website and Commercial property.
ESTES ARK HISTORY - Flag Ship Store - Honors And National Awards
Estes Park is a quaint historic village surrounded by the Rocky Mountains and only minutes away from Rocky Mountain National Park. In the midst of this Rocky Mountain splendor, we opened our specialty store "THE TALKING TEDDY" in the summer of 1984. The shop evolved from our love for Teddy Bears. Naming the shop was easy, for "Talking Teddy" was the owner's favorite childhood Teddy Bear. The origional "Talking Teddy" arrived in the late 50's, with his own record player and an assortment of long-play records. Prior to today's electronics, his operation was a simple speaker in his tummy (with back zipper to remove), and a cord with jack that plugged into the record player. The cheerful voice of Talking Teddy and his wonderful stories were a daily delight. Today, with the mention of his name during a busy day of business, we are reminded of the wonder and excitement that Talking Teddy and other "stuffed" friends gave us as children. Please keep the wonder and excitement alive in your families, as today's Teddy Bears will bring you "future" memories.|
During the following ten years, we moved and improved our shop two more times. Always remaining loyal to our exclusive Teddy Bear merchandise.
After several years of planning, in 1994 we began the construction of our own building. The Ark is 100' long x 50' wide x 30' tall. It was designed and constructed by the store owners with local building assistance by the small crew of Dan Smith Construction. We opened our "new" doors in the fall of 1995, naming our new building ESTES ARK. Wanting to remain faithful to our original vision, the first floor of the Ark is dedicated to Teddy Bears and Teddy accessories of all descriptions. The second level "Noah's Attic" features Noah's Arks, and Ark themed: puzzles, games, books and home decor. Travel up levels to the East and West to find: exotic and domestic stuffed animals ranging from miniature to life size with a special section featuring "National Park Species" (with our special National Park Species tag). In the lower level "The Rainbow Room" has opened it's doors to many special events, including: Teddy Bear making classes, Informative speakers and company Presidents' from the Teddy Bear world, special sales and parties. In 2004, We opened a new family attraction "RAINBOW CURVE RACEWAY". The Raceway features a custom built 100' 6 lane nostalgic wooden slot car track with 1/24th scale rental cars. For additional information, see "Slot Cars" on our Home Page.
Our Flag Ship Store is truly a concept store, built in the form of Noah's famous biblical Ark features three floors of merchandise covering over 6,000 square feet, A Slot Car Raceway and over 10,000 realistic stuffed plush toy animals on board visually delight children and adults alike. The nautical ark theme carries throughout each level of the ark, with just about every kind of animal you can think of. We use wooden barrels for lighting, ropes for netting, and cubbyhole animal stalls, stairways, and special displays, the entire structure feels much like what one might imagine from the original Ark. You can read more about Estes Ark in: Retail Superstars " Inside the 25 best independent stores in America. "
We hope you can visit us in person and share our shopping adventure with your entire family. The panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains, from our 360 degree deck will bring you back again and again.
Honors and National Awards:
February 1999: Specialty Retailer of the Year for Outstanding Achievements in Overall Merchandising and Store Design (for 1998)
*This award is presented annually during the New York Toy Fair and is sponsored by PLAYTHINGS Magazine.
(the oldest and most respected toy trade publication since 1903).
February 1999: Award for the Most Outstanding Display and Product Representation for the 100th Anniversary of GUND.
(America's oldest plush toy manufacturer since 1898).
January 2000: Chosen as panel speakers for the IDEX International Collector's Expo (in San Francisco)
Representing the retail side of collectibles.
1996 - 2000: Selected as TOBY (Teddy Bear of the Year) judges for 5 consecutive years for Teddy Bear and Friends Magazine.
January 2001 - 2002: Grand Prize for GUND'S Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Teddy Bear "100 YEARS OF HUGS".
Awarded first place for 1st half of 2001 , Awarded 1st place for second half of 2001 and Grand prize for best display overall.
February 2002: Merchandising Achievement Award for BEST STORE DESIGN - 2001 (under one million in sales). Sponsored by oldest Toy Trade Publication - PLAYTHINGS magazine during 2002 New York Toy Fair.
February 2002: Reader vote for SPECIALTY TOYS and GIFTS (trade magazine) for the best display "Teddy Bear ice cream social"
February 2004: Industry Achievement Award from PLAYTHINGS Magazine for BEST DIRECT MERCHANDISING CAMPAIGN
2003 Estes Park "Creative Community Coupon" Book.
August 2004: RETAILER EXCELLENCE AWARDS from Jones Publishing (Publishers of Dolls and Teddy Bear Review Magazines)
Grand Award for Outstanding Marketer and Retailer Excellence Award for Outstanding Retail Display.
December 2005: Featured as one of the SEVEN BEST TOY SHOPS in the United States in the December issue of Travel Savvy Magazine.
May 2009: Chosen by George Whalin for his new book RETAIL SUPERSTARS
"Inside the 25 Best Independent Stores in America". (Penguin Publishing).
May 2009: Featured in the Weekend section of the WALL STREET JOURNAL
"How to Succeed in Business Yet Stay Small" 5/23/09
July 2014: JULY 24th ... And the Answer is: ESTES ARK ! A featured clue on JEOPARDY with a photo of our store under the category of "Cool Buildings". The contestant answered correctly !