Outdoor real estate: Gander Mountain opening, MontBell moving, Austin Canoe and Kayak renovating and more …

Springtime marks the start of the real estate season, and with an economic recovery inching forward combined with low interest rates, signs are pointing to some expansion in the beaten-up market this year. Find out who's making location moves this spring in the outdoor industry.

Springtime marks the start of the real estate season, and with an economic recovery inching forward combined with low interest rates, signs are pointing to some expansion in the beaten-up market this year. That includes new stores, offices and locations for those in outdoor industry.

In the past month, SNEWS wrote about expansions at REI and Moosejaw, plus, unfortunately, closings at North Cove Outfitters and Marmot Mountain Works of Berkeley. We also provided insight from those in the industry who are accessing financing to grow again, including through real estate.

But wait, there’s more! And it’s mostly good news on the expansion front:

>> Gander Mountain announced that it will add its 115th location nationwide by opening a new store this fall in Valdosta, Ga. The 52,000-square-foot store will be located next to Wal-Mart and a Hampton Inn along Norman Drive in the city. The retailer sells hunting, fishing and camping gear along with outdoor apparel from brands like The North Face, Columbia, Mountain Hardwear, Carhartt, Marmot and Kuhl, along with footwear from brands like Keen, Teva, Timberland, Saucony and Salomon.

>> MontBell has discovered that retail location beats size. Six years ago, the Japanese outdoor brand, which is headquartered in Boulder, Colo., moved its separate retail store to Boulder’s Twenty Ninth Street mall for a larger 7,000-square-foot location. But MontBell ended up homesick for the visibility and traffic counts of its previous location along downtown Boulder’s Pearl Street pedestrian mall. So it’s moving back, March 31, at the expense of giving up half its size. Its corporate headquarters in Boulder remain put. Meanwhile, Pearl Street is becoming quite the haven for outdoor direct retail shops — MontBell joins Prana, Patagonia, Wenger and GoLite with stores there. GoLite, also Boulder-based, opened its new store on Pearl Street earlier in March.

>> There’s something to be said about Austin Canoe and Kayaknot moving or closing its Houston store. Despite a fire, which began in an adjacent building, damaging one-third of the store, ACK employees have worked hard to keep the space open, and will continue to do so throughout a complete building renovation. The company also rented a temporary warehouse space nearby to handle inventory storage during the work.

>> Cheyenne, Wyo.-based Sierra Trading Post has headed south of the state border to find more technology talent in Colorado. The outdoor retailer, best known nationwide for its ecommerce business, opened a new 4,700-square-foot technology office in Fort Collins, Colo. in mid March. The office will service the company’s technology needs for its website, mobile and bricks and mortar businesses. Sierra Trading Post has an option to lease an additional neighboring 3,900 square feet there and could grow the office to about 30 employees.

--David Clucas

Are you opening, closing or moving your outdoor store or office? Email at news@snewsnet.com with the details.



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