In mid-November, Joyce Meskis will open a third Tattered Cover Book Store location. The new store, in Highlands Ranch, is about a 30-minute drive south of her second store, in historic downtown Denver.

"This will be a more of suburban location," said general manager Matt Miller. "There's a population of about 80,000 people in Highlands Ranch, but we're expecting to draw beyond that. We've had customers in that part of town who have been trying to get us to open a store down there for years. That area has been growing—in fact, it's one of the fastest-growing counties around here. We want to provide an independent source for people to buy books down there."

The third Tattered Cover will be located in the new Highlands Ranch Town Center. "Currently, there's a Home Depot and a number of restaurants, offices and smaller retailers," Miller said. "A Bed, Bath & Beyond will be opening around the same time as us and the center is hoping to introduce a performance space there later." So far, there is no bookstore competition in the immediate area. "There are a few chains, but they're outside the Highlands Ranch area," said Miller, a 26-year veteran of the company.

The new bookstore will employ 45 to 50. The staff will be a combination of experienced booksellers from the two other locations and new staff members. Miller estimated the new location will be "just shy of 22,000 square feet," making it slightly smaller than the 25,000-square-foot downtown branch and a little more than half the size of the 40,000-square-foot original Cherry Creek location. When Meskis bought the three-year-old bookstore in 1974, it was a mere 950 square feet.

The new, one-level location will combine elements from Meskis's two other stores, including an in-store coffee shop and similar shelving and carpeting. But, said Miller, "We're working with the developer and architects to give it a little different feel while keeping some of the comfortable atmosphere of our other stores."