On Thursday, October 7, an Available sign went up advertising space in the building at 65 S. Main Street and paper covered the glass entrance doors and windows of Powers Outdoors in Rockford. Darrel Herweyer, represntative from DAR Development group, which represents the owners of the building, said there was little notice given in the closing of the business. “This wasn’t something we expected even a week ago,” he said. Space is now available in the building were Powers was located, although Herweyer said it won’t necessarily be the 7,500 square feet that Powers occupied since opening the business several years ago. “We give first option to our existing tenants,” he stated. The phones at Powers in Rockford have been re-directed to another Powers Outdoors store and calls to the store were not returned. The co-owner of the store was Jake Slominski. “Jake worked very hard to make that business work. He’s a fine young man and we feel bad. The state of Michigan’s economy didn’t help,” Herweyer stated. He said the amount of space at Powers and its distance from the Rogue River might have contributed to the failure of the store. “It was a pretty big space for a start-up,” Herweyer said. Those interested in finding out more about rental opportunities in the property are asked to call DAR Development at (616) 361-2307. City Manager Michael Young said the store has been in operation three or four years. He said it was too bad the business closed as it seemed to be a good fit for Rockford.
By Cliff and Nancy Hill Whatever floats your boat! Last Friday evening, seeking to affirm that spring is indeed on the way, your reporters attended the annual Grand Rapids Boat Show at Devos Place. Along with the recent Camper, Travel & RV Show and the Golf Show winter-weary West Michiganders welcomed these harbingers of Spring. At the show, we found ourselves sitting in the stands adjacent to what was billed as the “Huge Lagoon”- the largest indoor body of water at any boat show in the nation. This new addition to the show is a 100,000-gallon behemoth of an indoor lake. It was capable of floating special boats on display along with providing a venue for scuba, kayaking, and wakeboard demonstrations. (It was huge!) As in past years, Rockford’s Powers Outdoors played a prominent role in the staging of the five-day show. At variously scheduled times throughout the show’s run Powers Outdoors presented Kayaking and Paddleboard Clinics & Demos to the delight of those in the stands. Co-owner Jake Slominski of Powers Outdoors, who represented the Rockford location, hosted the demos. On the water, Doug Powers demonstrated the use of stand-up paddleboards and sit-in or sit-on styles of kayaks. The audience was particularly interested in the stand-up paddleboard demonstration. This newest craze in flat-water fun involves the use of a handmade oversized fiberglass surfboard that is very buoyant and stable and allows the user to stand and propel the board with a long-handled paddle. You can also paddle while on your knees or on your belly with your hands. Slominski told the audience that the technique could be mastered in about 5 minutes and was great for exercise or just play. Also demonstrated was a sit-on kayak that allowed easier on and off rather than the in and out of a traditional kayak. This particular kayak is fisherman friendly and is very stable and maneuverable. Doug finished up the session by demonstrating the “Ultimate” Kayak. This model allows the user to either paddle, peddle, or the use of an electrical propulsion system. The peddle and electrical systems are built into the craft. It is super stable with comfortable seating and is the fastest kayak on the water. A user controlled stern-mounted tiller adds to maneuverability. […]