Sports Trader Plus may be empty of sports equipment but it was full of love, friends, and family on Saturday for the business’ final day of operation.
Folks flooded in at closing time to say their goodbyes to owner Ivan Dugan and his family, sharing stories and memories with each other from over the years.
Dugan announced the closing of his store at the end of summer, with the date being dependent on stock selling out--now that the day has come, he explained feeling sad but excited for a new chapter.
"There's been the support of many people who helped me through this whole process," he said. "I thank the community for their ongoing support--and a special thank you to my family for putting up with me."
In a speech to his loyal customers and family, he recalled putting in long hours and hard work more often than not, and extended gratitude to his father-in-law, Allan, for passing the company down 23 years ago.
Henry Banman, one of the original owners of The Sportsman's Den, which birthed Sports Trader Plus, said the idea for the company came about on a road-trip.
"If you can think it, you can plan it to a certain degree," Banman said. "And you can do it."
While tears were shed all around, Dugan said he's excited to put his feet up and spend more time with his sons as they grow.