Calm Black Friday in Downtown Grand Junction

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While the malls and large chain stores have had to deal with massive crowds on Friday, the downtown shops in Grand Junction remained calm, which is how many shoppers and local store owners like it.

With only a few people walking along the streets, several empty parking spots, and no loud noise, it was almost hard to believe that Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. But with thousands spending most of their day at the malls and chain stores, it's hard for downtown businesses to compete.

"Really, we can't go head on after those guys," said Summit Canyon Mountaineering Manager Mark Wingert.

Many downtown shop owners say Black Friday is just like any other sales day for them, and that they're fine with that.

"We don't have people getting in fights in the lines, trying to get a hold of the latest and greatest thing," said Wingert. "It's a lot more casual here and it's a lot more fun."

It's that casual atmosphere that pulls some away from the busy malls and into the stores along Main Street.

"I don't have enough desire to go dig through the crowds and try to weave through all the pushing and shoving to get Christmas presents," said downtown shopper Niki Wise. "That's the reason I would rather come down here."

"We get a chance to wander in the stores and take our time and look at things slowly," said downtown shopper Pat Hendrickson.

With all the chaos miles away, stores are able to make their customers' experience a good one.

"I'm one of the owners of the store and I've been waiting on people all day long and checking them out," said Toys For the Fun of It owner Mike Allen. "We've got the personal touch downtown."

But some shoppers say the experience isn't the only thing that draws them to the downtown area. Many are looking to score that perfect gift you can't find anywhere else.

"Down here there are very unique gift items," said Hendrickson. "Our whole family is picking out our Christmas gifts down here."

There's good news for people planning on shopping downtown this holiday season. Parking at many of the metered spots and the main floor of the new parking garage is free through January 1.

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