Willsboro Kristen Hotaling was looking for something the community needed.
Hotaling, who graduated from Plattsburgh State in December with a degree in business, said that opening a sporting goods store was not her top option, but realized that there was a need for it in the community.
That realization led to the grand opening of Willsboro Outdoor World May 4, as community members came in and out of the Route 22 location throughout the day.
“We have had a lot come in - I have been very surprised,” Hotaling said. “We have had some food and some raffles going on. Most everyone that has come in has gone out with some goods and a lot of people said that they are glad we are here and that they were looking for this stuff.”
Hotaling is carrying on a tradition that was started by her parents, Jim and Tina, who ran an outdoor shop in the same location from 1994 until 2002, then known as Champlain Angler Sports.
“When I was thinking about starting a business, I thought why don’t I do something that the town needs and that my family and I love,” Kristen said. “I am the sole proprietor of the store, while my dad works as my, ‘consultant.’”
Hotaling said that with sportsmen returning to Lake Champlain for recreational fishing as well as major competitions, the store will be a benefit for the entire community.
“It is good for the fishermen that are coming in because they can buy their products here and they will then stay here in Willsboro to fish instead of traveling to Plattsburgh or Port Henry to buy their products and staying in those areas instead of coming back,” she said. “That will help the local businesses and restaurants because they will be looking to eat here and stay here after a day of fishing.”
Hotaling said Willsboro Outdoor World will be a registration outlet for the LCI Father’s Day Fishing Derby as well as the Rotary event. She said the shop will also be a weigh station for the season-long LCI derby.
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