Okay, so the story is late. We’ve had a few hiccoughs since May, and were not able to get the story in before this. But I gotta tell ya, this new store is a whopper!
Jody & I stopped in as we were on our way to the Grenadines for a sail, and got there about 7PM. The parking lot was full and it was a madhouse! The place was packed. The new store is located is located at 1401 Marina Bay Drive in Kemah. And it was huge! Like 25,000 square feet huge. Even in Texas that’s big!
The first flagship store in Texas had more than one thousand people showed up during the three days. Nolan Vander-Haagen, the General Manager, who has been with West Marine for over 18 years, said he wanted to make sure to cater to everybody that owns a boat or enjoys boating, fishing and being on the water. As he said, they will offer everything needed, in terms of fishing gear, engine parts, clothing — whatever makes for a great day of boating and fishing, whether on Galveston Bay or the Gulf of Mexico.
The store, the largest of its kind in the state, features a 2,500-square feet fishing section with a fishing shack for local anglers. The focus is on saltwater fishing, both inshore and offshore. An impressive array of reels, rods and tackle greet visitors as they enter the main entrance. An on-site sailboat rigging shop with an expanded sailboat hardware department is on site as well as an engine parts counter staffed by specialists as well as kayaks and inflatable boats. The staff was increased from 12-15 to 30 associates that offer over 330 years of boating experience for the customers to draw from.
The highlight of the evening we were there was meeting Kelly McGuire who recently released “King of the Island.” He handled not only the entertaining but also the auctioneering of goodies that went for pennies on the dollar, with the proceeds all going to charity.
It was a fun event, and we kinda wish we lived closer. They have everything there!