Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Bahnsen's set to close

Bahnsen's Ski & Sport, an Omaha tradition in the skiing and boating business, will close early next year after losing its lease.

After 46 years, Bahnsen's Ski & Sport, at 7407 L St., will close its doors next month.

Owner Don Bahnsen said the store, at 7407 L St., is scheduled to close in mid-January after 46 years.

"There's no place to move to in this stage of the game," Bahnsen said.

If the business relocated, it would need more space than its current 11,000 square feet, he said. A "quitting business" sale, which began Nov. 18, is under way.

This year's cold, windy weather affected the boating season nationwide, Bahnsen said.

"That hurt financially, but the main cause of the closing was the loss of our lease," he said. When Bahnsen began in sports retail in October 1958, his store at 7529 Dodge St. was similar to today's national chains that carry general recreation and sporting goods.

In those days, the business - then known as Bahnsen's Sporting Goods - offered a wide range of equipment for sports and activities including tennis, bowling, camping, golf, basketball and basketball.

"You name it, we sold it," Bahnsen said. "We tried to do everything." In 1972, the business moved to 9201 J St. and concentrated its merchandise on skiing and boating.

Friends introduced Bahnsen to those outdoor water sports, and he began offering boats in 1958 and skiing equipment in 1965. The store name also changed to Bahnsen's Ski & Sport. The store moved to its current location in 1981.


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