MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) — Theo’s Toys, a family-owned toy store in Manitou Springs, has had to deal with the slow-down in traffic due to COVID-19, but now a decision to require masks is causing a new problem that may need to be addressed by the small tourist town.
In a post from a woman who visited Theo's Toys recently, Heather D. claims she has a medical condition preventing her from wearing a mask. She threatens to take her business to Amazon after getting kicked out of the shop. Theo’s Toys responded to her negative review explaining its policy.
Owner Anthony Mogck says he provides people with masks if they need one. While Theo's still has a 4.9-star review on Google, the exchange has prompted Manitou Springs business owners to question if a citywide mask mandate would prevent them from losing customers over mask disagreements.
“This is the busiest time of the year for us and we’re not pulling the numbers we need to survive the winter," Mogck said.
Mogck adds that the reference to Amazon hurts.
"Mom and pop shops are struggling to stay open. I’m sure Amazon is doing really well right now," he said.
Some shoppers in Manitou Springs Monday admit they're willing to avoid stores with mask requirements. Curtis Van Ness is visiting from out of state.
“Most of the time if I see it requires a mask I don’t even bother going into those stores or even looking," Van Ness said.
But others, like Katherine Streker, are happy to shop at small businesses requiring face coverings if it means getting to leave the house.
“If we’re going to open the economy, which I think everyone wants, wearing masks they say is just as effective as staying home so it seems like a win-win situation," she said.
Manitou Springs city council will discuss face mask requirements in Tuesday night's work session. Mayor John Graham told KRDO action is very rarely taken during work sessions, though the possibility of a citywide mask policy will be discussed in detail.