Tommy Knockers leaving Main Street
July 8, 2006
As hard as it is when a good friend moves, it sure makes it easier when they’re just heading across town.
After 27 years of doing business on Main Street, Tommy Knockers is closing the shop to concentrate on its 18-month-old Redstone store near Kimball Junction.
"Things are changing," Tommy Knockers manager Tom Terry said. "It’s part of the evolutionary process. There’s no control on rent and it just keeps getting higher. Plus, there’s no vehicle to direct people, once they come on Main, to find us. The draw and allure of Redstone is just too powerful. But it’s not that the Main Street store is doing poorly, it’s just that the store out at Redstone is going so well it just makes more sense."
Terry, who has been with the company since December of 1999, said the store will still offer the same product with the customer service his clients have come to expect.
"We have done retail jewelry and gifts since 1976," he said. "We will continue to offer a full line of custom design opportunities and remodeling, jewelry repair, along with watch repair and sales. We also feature 17 or 18 local artists by representing their work –stained glass and photography, handmade jewelry and beadwork. Those things won’t change. The Redstone store is just going to refocus our efforts at providing the services we have always provided to Summit County."
He also said that by not trying to spread out over two locations, they will be better equipped to serve the area and the locals.
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"Our main thrust is to return to our principal focus, which is to serve the locals, by being convenient there’s parking out there, it’s easy to get to and get out of."
Tommy Knockers opened a new store last week in the tram building at Snowbird. They took over for another business, which also sold jewelry and gifts, giving the company three stores until the Main Street store closes at the end of July.
But when Jill and Stan Johnson started the company in 1976, there was only one and it wasn’t called Tommy Knockers.
"Jill had retired from both day care and a career in nursing and was looking for something," Terry said. "They started up at the resort center and called it Turquoise Limited. Then they moved around the corner from Albertson’s and subsequently onto Main Street. That’s when they changed the name to Tommy Knockers to reflect the mining heritage in the town. They moved once more to their present location and then opened the Redstone store."
It was before the final move that Terry was hired. He had been in Utah for a couple dozen years and had been in broadcasting, retail, marketing and sales.
"I have done a lot of different things," he said. "I was excited to work for a family-owned business, even though it was my own family. It was a big compliment for members of my family to recognize and compliment my abilities and skill sets. I really enjoy people, so this was just an awesome opportunity."
He does admit, however, that the closing of the Main Street store might not be as good for Park City as that initial choice was for him.
"The city is probably, to some degree, the less for it," he said. "Growth is inevitable, and the city has done a great job embracing the growth and working to meet the ever-changing needs, but it’s challenging to keep the ambiance and maintain the sole-proprietor feel. To that degree, it’s a bit of a loss to lose that part of it."
Although he feels the tradition of excellence set by Tommy Knockers will only grow stronger, he said he will miss the feel of Main Street. He also said that even though he is excited about the future, it’s hard not to look back at the past.
"You hate to see the old timers go," he said. "When you come to Park City for the first time you hopefully get an awesome perception, but when you come back you want to find the same good things there. Now people will have to find us somewhere else."
The store at Redstone located at Suite 130 by Bed, Bath and Beyond and can be reached at (435) 649-7333. Their hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The store at 577 Main will be closing sometime after July 15.