Sturtevants acquires fly-fishing outfitter and retailer, changes name

Sturtevants of Sun Valley has acquired the outfitting permit of Wood River Outfitters and taken over the fly-fishing business of Headwaters. The retailer has also updated its name to Sturtevants Mountain Outfitters.
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Sturtevants of Sun Valley has acquired the outfitting permit of Wood River Outfitters and taken over the fly-fishing business of Headwaters. The retailer has also updated its name to Sturtevants Mountain Outfitters.

Sturtevants now offers fly-fishing equipment and apparel, as well as rentals and guide services in addition to the bike, snowboard, footwear, sportswear and tennis business the company is currently known for.

Sturtos, the bike, snowboard, and service shop, will continue operations in its own building across the parking lot from the Sturtevants flagship store on Main Street in Ketchum. Additional Sturtevant Mountain Outfitters locations include Warm Springs Village and Main Street, Hailey.

Rob Santa, president of Sturtevants, told SNEWS® that he had been considering adding fly-fishing to the mix for some time. And when Wood River and Headwaters were booted from an historic property that once housed the Bald Mountain Hot Springs -- a property that was demolished to make way for a boutique hotel -- Santa felt the timing was ideal.

"There are three world-class activities in this region," said Santa. "Skiing, mountain biking and fly-fishing. In Idaho, the outfitting is controlled by the state, with the state being somewhat unique in that it has a very limited and jealously guarded permit system for outfitters. By acquiring the outfitting permit of Wood River, we obtained a passport that allowed us to cross over the border into the competitive fly-fishing business."

By adding fly-fishing to his mix, Santa tells us he expects to be able to better balance his business as a year-round effort. Currently, 70 percent of Sturtevants sales are generated from winter product.

With the acquisition of the permit, Sturtevants also held onto nearly a dozen veteran guides, Santa tells us. In addition, Santa is working with other river outfitters now to establish Sturtevants as the meeting place for client and guest orientations.

SNEWS® View: Considering that Sun Valley experiences more visitors in the months of July and August than any other time of the year, it is a good bet that by adding fly-fishing, Santa is going to quickly reap the rewards of stronger summer sales and a more year-round balanced biz. And it's no surprise that Santa is immediately setting up Sturtevants as the community meeting ground for other outfitters. Giving up meeting room space in the store is a small investment to make to latch on the associated sales that will surely come from watersports shoes, fly-fishing apparel, hats, fleece and sunscreen.

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