This will be the first Thanksgiving in 13 years that locals won’t be able to shop Wolf Creek Wilderness, a small but well-known paddlesports shop in Grass Valley, Calif. Wolf Creek shut its doors in October, a victim of the economic downturn, according to owner Danny Childs.
Wolf Creek Wilderness first opened in 1997 in a very small and funky space on Commercial Street in Nevada City and quickly grew in popularity as a leading area specialty shop for paddlers. Childs, who had moved his family to the area from Tahoe in 1995, worked as a sales rep for Perception Kayaks during the 1990s. He would call on Dave Good, then-owner of Wolf Creek Wilderness.
Through that relationship, Childs got to know Wolf Creek and its business, and in the fall of 2000, Childs and his wife, Kathy, purchased Wolf Creek Wilderness from Good and his business partner, Bruce Herring. Prior to the purchase, the business had moved from its Nevada City location to a stand-alone building with a large parking area on East Main Street in Grass Valley. From well-attended paddling demo days on Scotts Flat, a local reservoir, to a 24-hour kayak rental program, and a small, but successful winter backcountry skiing program, Childs told us the business remained healthy through 2007.
But then the economic downturn hit, and after two years of downward-trending sales, Childs decided he could no longer keep the doors open. A Sept. 29 story in The Union, the local newspaper for the region, announced the going-out-of-business sale.
In an email to SNEWS®, Childs said, “It was time to move on. Next chapter about to unfold and will keep you posted. Good things ahead. Never say die. Wolf Creek will live on in some way, shape or form.”
A chat post to The Union article on Wolf Creek shutting down, stated, “Sad to see that business go.... They are very helpful, friendly, and a great local source of quality outdoor equipment.”