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Business Happenings - December 2004

Moab Mailing Center
- a fun place to take care of holiday business

By Carrie Switzer
Moab Mailing Center
375 S. Main
Moab UT 84532

(435) 259-8431
Fax: (435) 259-2418

In December, it’s not likely you’ll be camping and in need of an address to have those forgotten supplies mailed to you. But if you were, the Moab Mailing Center could oblige.

More likely, you live here and have valuable, fragile Anasazi pottery, a lamp, fountain or other southwest treasure friends and relatives from afar will receive. Lines are long at the post office and you don’t know where to get bubble wrap. You may even want to drop a card in the box, which of course you haven’t purchased yet and your car is overstuffed and not the best environment for writing an intimate greeting.

This is my scenario, with a dozen objectives that could take me on a trail of a dozen stops. Or one: The Moab Mailing Center at Canyonlands Advertising.

This is where I go verily empty handed save “the exports.” All the frills, including a chair and a tabletop, are waiting for me, along with some very pleasant people to help me pack with the most care and least expense. Boxes, tape, labels, bubble wrap; if I need a crate Aaron Davies will build me one. No kidding. I might even find an additional gift in the collection of cards, plaques and wall hangings.

Modeled after the urban Kinko’s and UPS Stores, the Moab Mailing Center is a hands-on get the project done place, in addition to being a certified outlet for UPS and Federal Express. It is self-serve and full-serve, depending on the needs of the customer, and it’s a fun place to get it done.

“We like to pride ourselves on customer service,” said Office Manager – aka office “Goddess” - Kari Huts. “We’re good people-people. We all enjoy it, and we all get along.”

Huts says there is particular talent in the shipping business at the Mailing Center with the addition of Aaron Davies to the staff. He grew up in the business with his father, and has been a “blessing” to the shipping end of a busy office.

“He came here with a lot of knowledge,” said Huts. “He’s a great asset. We always did it, but he’s added a whole new dimension.”

The Mailing Center was a “twinkle in the eye” of Canyonlands Advertising owner Theresa King in the early 1990s, when Kari Huts went to work there.

“The shipping evolved as a need,” she said.

King adds that the need was two-fold: Kinko’s-like businesses were sprouting up and experiencing success in larger cities, and the small Canyonlands Advertising was beginning to make copies for people and expand its original venue of advertising services and publication of the monthly info-magazine Moab Happenings. Both of those services were seasonal, King said. The idea that shipping could help keep employees busy during the off-season was attractive.

“It was an idea that was put into my mind, actually,” King said. “It seemed a natural extension of the Copy Center and publishing.”

In 1996 contracts with UPS and Fed Ex were signed and the Moab mailing Center was off and running.
“By golly, we can mail anything,” Huts adds, and she kids not. Many a bicycle has been shipped out of the Mailing center ahead of their owners who did not want to bother flying with them.

In addition to shipping out, the Mailing Center rents private mailboxes, which in 1996 was also a dire need in the community as more people moved to the area and boxes ran short at the post office. The Mailing Center will also act as a general delivery address for visitors or newcomers without an address.

On an average day the Moab Mailing Center ships 30 packages. Huts said there is a solid local base.
“People trust the shipping,” she said. “UPS and Fed Ex are guaranteed.”

The busiest time of year is two weeks before Christmas, though Huts said ‘people are getting better at shipping their packages early.” The record number of packages shipped in a day is 122.

“We can get really busy and have all four computers going,” she said.

Theresa King employs four people full-time at the Mailing Center, Canyonlands Advertising, the Copy Center and Moab Happenings – each a separate business run out of the same user-friendly office at the McStiff’s Plaza. In addition, the Moab Music Festival, Moab Arts Festival, Channel 6 roller ads and Moab Lodging Association bookwork is handled there. King, who has no children, calls her businesses her kids.
“And right now we have a couple of unruly teenagers,” Huts jokes.

Still, the environment reflects the mission statement for Canyonlands Advertising – the umbrella over all of the other entities:

1. Provide marketing services to the business community of Moab.
2. Enhance community life by organizing cultural events.
3. Create wealth in a workplace in which it is fun and positive for staff and clients to participate.

I agree with Theresa when she says that happy employees are good employees,” said Huts, who is obviously both – happy and good. “We’re allowed here to be who we are. There are four of us who work full-time, and we couldn’t be any different. But Theresa is a good boss and she values our contribution and hears what we say.

“It’s an eclectic group.”

And, it’s an eclectic business.

The Moab Mailing Center is open 6 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. UPS pickup is at 3:30 p.m. weekdays, and Fed Ex is at 4 p.m. For more information about any of the services available at the Mailing Center, call 259-8431.

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