If you’re lucky enough to frequent Old Town, Fort Collins, you might bump into Renée Becher.
At the bookstore, for example. As events coordinator and consignment director for Old Firehouse Books, Renée is the person who brings famous authors to our community, manages readings and book signings, and even reads bits of her own fiction at the bookstore’s once-a-month open-mic nights, called Dime Stories.
She also works the bookstore counter and can help you find just the right read.
“We’re a full-service independent bookstore,” the budding author and voracious reader explained. “We not only sell books, but we order books for customers, buy used books, host lots of events, and coordinate events with other groups and organizations, like CSU. We try to be involved in the community in as many ways as possible.”
When she’s not at Old Firehouse, Renée likes to explore Old Town. She goes to comedy shows and sees theater. She visits all the fantastic shops and restaurants, of course, and enjoys stopping by the taphouses and microbreweries to sample their latest recipes. New Belgium’s La Folie is her favorite, as is Horse & Dragon’s Pulitzer Porter, brewed in collaboration with Fort Collins Reads. She has been known to load up Old Town’s Little Free Libraries with the extra sample books the store receives.
A few years back, Renée fulfilled a lifelong dream by moving to New Zealand for a year and working as a tour guide at Hobbiton, the movie-set-turned-tourist-attraction from “The Lord of the Rings” film trilogy. Since then, she’s taken several international trips to other locations.
“I love to travel,” Renée said, “but I also love to come home. Fort Collins is friendly, welcoming, and laid-back. It’s big enough that there’s lots to do, but it’s not too big. And you’ll find many pockets of natural areas, with easy access to the great outdoors just outside town. We really have it all. Plus, the beer’s so much better here.”