The JAX Story
Since 1955 Jax Mercantile has been providing customers with top quality functional gear for every occasion. We are committed to providing you the very best equipment and knowledge of our vast selection of products. We are passionate about adventure, the outdoors, conservation and an active lifestyle and we share this with our customers every day. Our friendly associates will help you find the camping equipment, hiking gear, footwear, clothing, fishing tackle, hunting equipment, hardware, military surplus and any other necessities for your outdoor activities from brands you know and trust. Jax strives to deliver exemplary service to each and every customer. As a very successful retailer once stated:
“A customer is not an interruption of our work, but the purpose of it. We are not doing them a favor by serving them, customers are doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.” - Jim Quinlan, Owner
Ames Surplus –
Marvin and Lola Quinlan return to their home state of Iowa to purchase property in Section 6 of Washington Township and open Ames Surplus. Their initial products included mainly items purchased from government surplus sales.
1st Building Expansion –
In 1965 the City of Ames exercised their right of Eminent Domain to put a frontage road in front of the store. Marvin and Lola used the proceeds to expand their store to a 24 x 60 foot building, almost doubling the size of their store to 1,440 square feet.
Jim Quinlan: Manager –
Son of owners Marvin and Lola, 18-year-old Jim Quinlan became manager of Ames Surplus while attending Iowa State University. Between setting sales records and making plans for new building expansions, Jim decided business was more fun than college and dedicated himself to the family store, full-time.
Rocky Mountain Surplus –
At 21 years of age, Jim moved west to Fort Collins, CO and opened “Rocky Mountain Surplus” on the corner of College Avenue and Jefferson Street on August 1, 1983.
Rocky Mountain Surplus was the birthplace of the original JAX mascot, G.I. Jane. When she was stolen, the story made national news when Paul Harvey reported it on his radio program, “The Rest of the Story.”
The Surplus Store -
Following the success of Rocky Mountain Surplus in Fort Collins Jim opened a second surplus store on 8th avenue in Greeley Co.
JAX: A Landmark in Fort Collins since 1955 get a new lease on life
After 33 years in business the Dreher Family of local pickle fame closed down JAX Surplus and sold out everything to the bare walls, windows were boarded up and it sat as an empty building for six months. Jim recognized that it was difficult to be in two places at once. Seeing an opportunity Jim sold the Surplus Store in Greeley and negotiated to move Rocky Mountain Surplus to the old JAX Surplus location and keep the oldname. This was the beginning of a new direction and that led to upgraded quality products and both building and category additions that continue to the present day in this location.
Ames Outdoor Gear –
In 1998, Marvin and Lola Quinlan retired. Jim then purchased Ames Surplus from his parents and changed the store name to Ames Outdoor Gear.
JAX Ranch & Home –
On April 1st 2002, the former Country General store on North 287 opened as the first “JAX Ranch & Home” location. With this store, JAX was able to expand its product line to include an expanded line of hardware and paint, power equipment, ranching and equine supplies, western wear and lawn and garden items.
The Thunderdome –
Jim Quinlan purchases a 35 acre parcel in Laporte, CO. This property includes 7 buildings previously owned by the Holcim Cement Plant. Jim first planned to convert the giant metal dome, once used for mixing cement materials, into a paintball arena to be called “Thunderdome Paintball.” But bigger plans developed and the year ended with the merging of all three JAX stores into a single parent company named JAX Mercantile Co.
JAX of Loveland –
In 2008, Jim purchased a building partially in use by Gold’s Gym. He renovated the vacant portion of the building, installing used fixtures purchased from other retailers including grocery stores and department stores that had gone out of business. JAX Outdoor Gear, Ranch & Home in Loveland became the first JAX store to house all JAX product categories.
JAX Home Office –
In January 2009, Home Office employees were moved into the renovated cement plant. The new site includes offices, warehouse and distribution, and a carpentry and metal shop. Accounting, Purchasing, Marketing, Human Resources, Facilities, IT, and our Internet Store are all together on one campus.
JAX of Lafayette –
In the Spring of 2010, JAX opened a fifth store in Lafayette, CO. This store was located in an almost new, but vacant building that had been constructed as a model Ace Hardware. This JAX became the second store to blend both product categories under one roof, and the first with a full bicycle department and shop.
Lafayette Ranch & Home –
In 2013 the Lafayette store was split in two, with the original store becoming JAX Outdoor Gear Lafayette, and an empty storefront across the street being converted into JAX Ranch & Home of Lafayette.
JAX of Broomfield –
2016 proved to be a momentous year for JAX Mercantile as the company opened JAX Outdoor Gear, Ranch & Home in Broomfield. This 7th JAX storefront is the company’s largest, including over 90,0000 square feet of retail space. It is also the first JAX store in the Denver market.
JAX of Cheyenne –
For years the Colorado Front Range stores have been a destination for Wyoming residents. In fall 2019, JAX opened JAX Outdoor Gear, Ranch & Home in the Cheyenne Frontier Mall. With their 8th store, JAX is excited to offer their loyal Wyoming customers a convenient location for all their outdoor and farm needs.