DOVER — The Hub has moved locations but its owner still has the same ideas around creating a year-round economy within the Deerfield Valley, where mountain and lake conditions often hold the cards.
"It's been great," said owner Phil Gilpin Jr. "We got some really good visibility on Route 100. Being next to the Saloon, we get all the traffic from people there."
By having visitors pop in during the winter and sign up for e-mails about upcoming events, Gilpin said he is able to reach them in the fall and summer when the snow has left the ground. His effort to keep "the long list" growing is about creating a year-round economy in an area with several ski resorts and lakes within close proximity.
The Hub's purpose, Gilpin said, is to the fill in the missing pieces and offer what isn't currently available in Dover. Making a trip to Bennington or Brattleboro for a particular item will spark the thought: "We're probably not the only ones who need it so we should order it."
There's clothing, maple syrup, candles, towels, soap and gifts for every age. Vermont craft beers and snacks are expected to come in this week.
Local artists and artisans sell their products at the store.
"If people have high quality products, definitely come in," Gilpin advised. "We'll take a look at it."
The store functions also as a resource for residents or guests looking for fun things to do.
"It's called The Hub because it's an information center," explained Gilpin, who serves as executive director of the Independent Television and Film Festival which moved from Los Angeles to Dover in 2013.
He runs the Green Mountain Adventure Challenge and VT Vibe, too. The former sees participants looking at clues to find hidden treasure as they search around the valley. The latter is a guide for visitors and locals to find out what's happening at restaurants, inns and more.
The Hub served as a box office for ITVFest in 2015 after the store moved in September. Previously, it was located up the road in a space next to Last Chair Bar & Grill.
Things have been somewhat quiet since the move but Gilpin hopes time will help with that.
"The lack of snow definitely impacted numbers for the month of December. Naturally, without the snow, people don't show up," said Gilpin. "The other challenge is anything new takes a little bit of time for people to get used to. People, who are so used to going to the Saloon, don't even look and see there's a store next door. Over time, these things will get better."
Gilpin sees the store becoming a daily destination, not just for visitors but for people who live in town. It is open seven days a week with beer and wine tasting events and other "little get-togethers" being scheduled.
Once a month, Gilpin plans to run some type of flash sale. Facebook posts and flyers on the store's windows will notify customers.
"Every weekend, we have a daily giveaway," he said. "Last week was squares of chocolate."