A decade ago, Jim and Daphne Myers opened a small grocery store in Bailey, about an hour west of Denver, just off U.S. Highway 285.
Business was slow from the start. Foot traffic was hard to come by in the town of just a couple thousand people.
“After about two years, we realized the store was not going to work,” Myers recalled. “We were the ones eating all the groceries.”
But what Myers lacked in hungry customers, he made up for with a corner of the store dedicated to his personal passion. It was called the “Sasquatch Outpost,” and shoppers could put a pin on a map to document where they’ve seen the famous cryptid, Bigfoot.
“So, we made a decision,” Myers said. “It was a critical, risky decision to go all the way with Bigfoot.”
Today, the Sasquatch Outpost is the main attraction. The bread and eggs are gone. Bigfoot paraphernalia, including t-shirts, magnets, shot glasses, and a wide array of Sasquatch documentaries, rules.
Myers has had a life-long fascination with the elusive creature. At 10 years old, he went to the movie theater and saw Legend of the Boggy Creek, a half-documentary, half-staged drama about a Bigfoot-like creature in Arkansas. Ever since then, he’s been searching for proof that Sasquatch is real.
Since reopening the store as a Sasquatch gift store, Myers said business has grown year-by-year. He and his wife even plan to expand the business upstairs and open a Sasquatch-themed escape room.
Myers frequently meets other Bigfoot believers who come from all over the country, like Michele Buddy, a Texan who made a point to visit the store after hearing about it in a documentary.
“I'm a huge Bigfoot believer,” she said. “We were coming to Colorado anyway. I'm like, ‘There's a Bigfoot museum in Bailey?’ So, here we are.”
At the back of the store, green saloon doors sit below a sign that reads “SASQUATCH ENCOUNTER.” Inside is a small museum dedicated to alleged proof that the elusive Sasquatch walks among us.
The exhibits, curated by Myers, feature plaster casts of suspected Bigfoot tracks, old newspaper clippings, and even preserved feces that Myers believes couldn’t come from anything but Bigfoot.
“This is what we call ‘the tremendous turd’,” Myers said, gesturing toward a display. “It's a 48 inch piece of feces that we found in the woods about 10 miles from here.”
The museum also contains a holdover from the original grocery store — the map, which is still updated with patrons’ sightings. Myers doesn’t let just anyone leave a mark, though.
“To get their pin in this map, they have to come into the store, tell me their story, convince me that they're being truthful,” he said.
Equipped with this lifelong devotion to Sasquatch, Myers gave his thoughts on the latest viral Bigfoot sighting.
Earlier this month, a couple on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in southwestern Colorado captured a video of a purported Sasquatch. While some heralded the video as the latest proof Bigfoot exists, Myers was immediately skeptical.
“To me it was clearly a hoax,” Myers said. “The hair was the wrong color, it was shiny. And it's clearly a costume.”
At the end of the museum, a motion-activated replica of what Myers believes Bigfoot actually looks like sits shrouded by darkness and real Aspen trees. Its name is The Boss. Anyone who passes is treated to a bone-chilling growl that emanates from a hidden speaker.
It’s in this final room where visitors are confronted by a sign: “Sasquatch: Do you believe?” They’re invited to place a plastic token into one of three boxes, labeled yes, no, or maybe.
“The correct answer is yes, but you can put it wherever you want,” Myers said.
He stopped tallying the votes years ago. He knows his truth.
You want to know what is really going on these days, especially in Colorado. We can help you keep up. The Lookout is a free, daily email newsletter with news and happenings from all over Colorado. Sign up here and we will see you in the morning!