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The adventure comes to an end

Sporting goods store closing after 15 years

Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2000

After more than 15 years in Juneau, Adventure Sports is closing. "It's sort of shocking to a lot of people," said Tom Mayer, who co-owns the shop with his sister, Lynn Mayer, and her husband, Bill Gissel.

"We all want to go do something different," Tom Mayer said. "It was a very difficult decision to come to."

He said the shop has been for sale the past couple of years, but no one has come forward to buy it.

Adventure Sports carries a variety of equipment, including downhill skis, snowboards, kayaks and bicycles and rents skates and cross country skis seasonally.

Lynn Mayer and Bill Gissel originally opened Adventure Sports in Wasilla to sell bicycles, cross country skis and hockey gear, Lynn Mayer said. After 3 1/2 years, they opened the Juneau location and closed the Wasilla shop when they moved to Juneau in 1988.

The shop has come in several guises over the years. When it first opened in Juneau, it bought the bicycle portion of Ski's 'N Stuff and also sold cross-country skis in the winter.

Over the years, snowboards gained popularity and the store stepped in to sell them. In 1995, the store bought out the downhill stock of Ski's 'N Stuff and moved into its location on Old Dairy Road.

Adventure Sports started carrying sea kayaks at the same time. It later added a kayak rental shack at Auke Bay, which the owners plan to keep open during the summers, Tom Mayer said.

The shop's closing will leave a gaping hole in several areas of the Juneau sporting goods market.

"The big hole will be (downhill) skis," said Hans Moser, who owns Mountain Gears bicycle shop downtown with his wife, Tanja. He said he has no plans to pick up alpine skis, but may add products such as in-line skates.

He said he really hasn't had time to look at options yet.

Regardless of adding products, the closure will mean more business for Moser. Adventure's closing leaves Mountain Gears as the main shop in town that does bicycle maintenance.

"It's going to put pressure on us for more repairs in the spring," Moser said. But he may run a winter special to take some pressure off the busy spring repair season, he said.

Having two bicycle shops in Juneau is good for consumers, he said. People like to have options for local purchases instead of mail order with its added shipping rates, Moser said. Mountain Gears might add more bikes next summer, but he said the store doesn't want to get strung out between two locations.

"I hate to see them go," Moser said.

Another beneficiary will be the Foggy Mountain Shop downtown, which will become the main place to rent cross-country skis or buy kayaks. Scott Fischer, who co-owns the shop with his wife Betsy Fischer, said they have no plans to expand or pick up downhill ski lines.

"Not this year - definitely," he said.

The two stores also competed to some extent for the in-line skate and backpack markets, Fischer said.

"They were our closest competitor for hard goods," he said.

Mayer said he hopes somebody steps in to fill the sporting goods void.

"There's a lot of opportunity there," he said.

Adventure Sports moved around during its tenure. It has occupied parts of the Madsen Building, Mendenhall Mall, Nugget Mall Annex, the building on Old Dairy Road and its present location in the Chandler Building in the Nugget Mall parking lot.

The store will do bicycle, ski and snowboard repairs until it closes Jan. 15. Besides the normal merchandise, the store is selling its display racks, shelving, fixtures and ski-tuning equipment, he said.

"Everything that's inside the store is for sale," Mayer said.

Mike Hinman can be reached at mhinman@juneauempire.com.



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