By Emily Wolfe Explore Big Sky Managing Editor
BIG SKY – Longtime local outdoor shop Grizzly Outfitters is opening a new storefront on Highway 191.
When the previous tenant, East Slope Outdoors, moved to a new space at 32 Town Center Ave. on Dec. 1, Grizzly saw an opportunity to tap into new markets – Yellowstone visitors and more serious fishermen.
“I love the location, and I like that there’s been a shop there for a long time,” said Grizzly co-owner Andrew Schreiner.
The new location, Grizzly Outfitters on the River, will be a full-service fishing and guide shop, and also cater more to drive-by and Yellowstone traffic, as well as families, Schreiner said.
“We’re not trying to do another Grizzly Outfitters, high-end,” he said, referring to the current space in Town Center, which carries alpine ski, biking, hiking and running gear, and a limited fishing selection. “We’re trying to connect the two but have them be very different.”
Calling it more of an outlet, Schreiner said he plans to offer lower price points – think a $40 rain jacket versus $200 – as well as local deals, t-shirts, logo wear and car-camping supplies. “Less Big Sky, more Yellowstone Park.”
The fishing customers will be equally different between the two locations, he said. “[The Town Center shop] is going to be a little simpler fishing setup – quick and dirty, easy kits, keep our fly selection here. Down there, we’re going to have everything you can imagine, and focus on Montana brands.”
They also plan to mount a camera on the roof aimed at the river – “the hatch cam” –as a resource for fishermen and guides.
The targeted opening date is March 1, and Grizzly is now completely renovating the 1,700 square foot building. Schreiner estimates the new space will add six employees, bringing its staff to around 27 or 28.
Grizzly celebrates its 20th year in business on May 1.