Unique business model guides Orderville’s Antiques Americana
Originally named Lance’s Buck Stop, as in ‘the buck stops here,’ 64-year-old Lance Seitz, a native of Baltimore, says he set his sights on his present location at 210 East State Street in Orderville because of the “scenery.” Typically, 99 percent of his inventory has been gathered from auctions and estate sales along the East Coast where he goes on-the-road to “just keep buying everyday: different state, different city, different town.”
For the past 22 years known as Antiques Americana, with a card touting ‘Fully Stocked With Incredible Bargains’ at ‘Flea Market Prices’, the former electrician explains, “Being on-tour constantly, you know, (my) whole life, used to come through here constantly. And then, I got a ‘bug’ back in the early 90s. I wanted to get property out on the West Coast for a store in a high-volume tourist area. So then, ended-up here.”
And what’s the traffic been like having a clientele dropping in occasionally from anywhere around the world?
“That’s the cool part, but it’s always slow. ‘Cause I don’t do (it of) ‘necessity.’ You know, there isn’t much interest in antiques. There’s only about two percent of the U.S. that has any interest in antiques, or anything more I sell in the store. So, I don’t get many people. Plus, in front of the store it’s 45 miles-an-hour, and they can’t, you know, they’re going too fast. And it’s all tourism. It’s a few locals in southern Utah; but it’s hard to get people to stop. Period.”
As for his motivation, “It’s just something I always did: just something that I wanted to do for when I got older. I had a sports memorabilia business in Fort Lauderdale back in the day. The only thing I know is that when I opened the store up, I’d just seen that the country was going downhill because of greed; it’s everywhere. “So, like always, it’s just like any other time back in the day, I always wanted to be the cheapest store in the U.S., and pretty much am. There’s a few of us out there I’ve found, and there aren’t many. We’re down to an eighth of a percent, or so. There are people that care. Fifty percent of the people that come in the store, as soon as they walk in the door, they look up and see the vast amount of stuff, ceiling and the whole store and go: ‘WOW!’”
One such patron on his way back home that day was Ryan Grover, who helps manage a small northern Utah computer company. “It’s fun to step into stores like this,” he observes, “because they take you back to time that’s long since passed. Some of this stuff is before my time and some of it’s my time, as well. But, yeah, it’s really, really fun just to look back at Americana and remember what life used to be like. It was slower; people connected more. It’s just a fun time: it’s cool to be here.”