Glenwood now without a general sporting goods store
Area sports enthusiasts and business leaders continue to hold out hope for a replacement sporting goods store in Glenwood Springs after Sports Authority officially pulled up stakes at Glenwood Meadows and other Western Slope locations last week.
July 28 was the last day for the Glenwood Springs store as well as Sports Authority locations in Grand Junction, Montrose, Steamboat Springs and Dillon.
The Englewood-based general sporting goods chain announced in May that it would be closing all of its stores after declaring bankruptcy earlier this year.
“We continue to work with some possible replacement tenants,” Steve Shoflick of Miller Real Estate, which handles leasing for Glenwood Meadows, said.
There’s no guarantee that will involve a sporting goods store, but that’s on the short list in terms of consumer needs, he said.
“It’s our desire to have a well-run operation there that brings something that the community needs,” Shoflick said. “Sporting goods certainly fills that need, but it’s not the only need.”
Glenwood Springs has a variety of specialty sports and outdoor shops catering to niche activities such as camping, backpacking, mountaineering, fishing, biking and skiing. But the lack of a general sporting goods store would leave a void if a replacement doesn’t come along.
That’s particularly true for team sports participants looking for soccer, baseball, softball, football, lacrosse gear and the like.
Scott Fitzwilliams, who has coached in the Three Rivers Little League baseball program for many years, related that his own son needed a new batting glove before leaving for the recent regional tournament in New Mexico, but Sports Authority was already sold out.
“Thank goodness for Amazon and one-day delivery,” he said. But that doesn’t work for some items, Fitzwilliams added.
“Some things, like a pair of baseball pants or a new glove, you want to try on first and get the feel,” he said. “It’s definitely going to take more planning for coaches and parents of these athletes.”
Even driving to Grand Junction won’t be an option unless Mesa Mall or one of the other commercial shopping centers is successful in luring a new sporting goods store to replace the Sports Authority store that closed there.
Like Glenwood, Grand Junction does not have another general sporting goods outlet. Mesa Mall also is working with prospective new tenants to fill the former Sports Authority space, mall manager Paul Petersen said.
“We will continue to evolve adding new retail and dining options that meet shopper demand,” he said.
Marianne Virgili, president and CEO for the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, said Glenwood Springs with its active lifestyle would seem to be a strong market for a new sporting goods store.
“I would imagine some retailer will come in and take advantage of that,” she said. “If not, the impact to Glenwood of course will be leakage of those potential sales out of the city. But I’m pretty confident someone is going to come in and fill that void.”
Speculation since Sports Authority announced it would be going out of business is that another large sporting goods chain, such as Dick’s or Big 5, might be interested in some of the more lucrative markets that Sports Authority was leaving.
Neither of those chains returned phone calls seeking comment about their interest in Glenwood Springs or other Western Slope markets.
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For the last decade Ken Murphy kept building on his plans for a River Outfitting store.