(Photo above | Cascade Business News)
Camp Abbot Trading Company to Serve as Wide-Ranging General Store
Sunriver has a new hotspot for expanded shopping options with the upcoming launch of Camp Abbot Trading Company, which is set to serve as a wide-ranging general store for the popular residential and resort community.
The project was the brainchild of retail specialist Bob Mitchell, together with his wife Marcie and an experienced management team who all played a major role in putting the project together.
Mitchell bought the former Hammer Time Home Center property on Venture Lane in late 2015 and he and his team set about undertaking a major remodel and conversion early last year – after they inventoried and removed the old product and fixtures – as part of bringing the outlet into the Ace Hardware fold. Mitchell owns 10 Ace Hardware stores in Oregon and Washington, including three locations in Bend.
The renovated 32,000 square foot building – which includes a 20,000 square foot garden center plus a greenhouse – was named in part in homage to the site of the US Army camp used to train combat engineers in the area during WWII, where much of the Sunriver resort was later developed, but also to reflect a wider format typical of an earlier era. Bend-based Stephen Perrault Construction acted as general contractor for the project, while design input was provided by MBA Architects.
Mitchell said: “We picked the name because of all the different things outside of hardware we will offer. We didn’t want people to just think we were only a hardware store and using Camp Abbot in the name seemed like a fit for the look of the building and the history of the area.
“This is far more than just a hardware store. Not only was the store reconfigured to offer an expansion in hardware, it also has a Hallmark Gold Crown, Purina feed and pet supplies, full rental department, gifts, sporting goods, housewares, garden center and clothing.
“Camp Abbot Trading Co. will also be an authorized dealer for brands such as STIHL Power Tools, Carhartt, Craftsman, Big Green Egg, Yeti, Traeger and Segway, just to name a few.”
When Mitchell’s group first looked at the property, the opinion was that the Sunriver community wasn’t large enough to support a stand-alone hardware store.
But a few months later, following the opening of various different expanded, non-hardware-related departments in associated Washington stores, the conclusion was reached that adding more dimensions to create a general store that appealed to vacationers as well as locals was the answer to making the project viable.
He said: “Many of the products we added we already sell at other stores and have had really good success with filling niches that we found were under-serviced in a location’s local neighborhood.
“Sunriver had very little or in some case no place to purchases some of these products and services we were already doing in other communities, so we felt by putting all the product together we could create a general store that would better service the Sunriver community.”
Numerous hurdles have been navigated in the process of bringing that vision to fruition, with Mitchell adding: “Like most remodels, the Camp Abbot Trading Co. has taken much longer and has cost much more than expected!
“The project had many challenges. The first was how to deal with the old inventory that we needed to liquidate; counting and moving the product took a couple months longer than expected.
“But the building itself was the biggest issue, with everything from rotten walls to areas that were never built correctly to begin with, so we had to address dozens of reconstructive aspects throughout the remodel.
“Though we ran into many issues with the old building, we wanted to see it through and make sure it was done right because we plan on being here for a long time.
“Along with restoring and making modifications that would allow us to function better as a retail store, we also did things like adding HVAC, which the building never had, changing all the interior and exterior lighting to LED and making improvements to the ADA accessibility.”
Mitchell observed that as Ace is the world’s largest hardware retail cooperative, and the largest non-grocery American retail cooperative, stores buy many lines of palletized goods by the semi-truckload which can help reduce overall costs for local stores.
Features of the new Camp Abbot Trading Co. departments include:
Ace Hardware – the hardware department will offer more products than the old store and with three other affiliated stores in the area and a main distribution warehouse nearby, is able to offer better pricing and the ability to keep inventory in stock.
Hallmark Gold Crown – Hallmark will carry all the signature items and collectibles only found in a Hallmark Gold Crown store. Mitchell’s company put the first Hallmark Gold Crown store within a store in Washington last year, which proved so successful that Hallmark is looking to expand the concept throughout the country.
Pet, Feed and Rural Farm Supply – Carrying the full line of Purina pet and feed products, along with most everything needed for the care of pets and farm animals, even ranging to carrying live chickens.
Clothing – The store carries Carhartt clothes and shoes as well as a line of women’s clothing and accessories.
Sporting Goods – Camping, hunting, fishing and general outdoor recreation gear.
BBQ – Authorized dealer for Big Green Egg, Traeger, Weber and Charbroil.
Housewares – Everything from small appliances and cleaning supplies to kitchen gadgets.
Rental – Tool and equipment rental department as well as recreational equipment and party rentals.
STIHL Power Tools – Authorized dealer and service center for the full line of outdoor power tools.
Gifts – Candles, home décor’ and collectibles
Garden Center – Over 20,000 square feet of garden center with a 3,500 sq ft greenhouse, selling items such as plants, shrubs, lawn furniture, soils, pots and planters and pavers
Segway – Only authorized Segway dealer in Central Oregon.
Building Materials – The store will carry lumber, insulation, steel works, and most of the products expected from a builders store.
The extensive interior remodel covered installation of new flooring, ceiling, lighting and shelving systems.
The lumberyard will carry expanded wood products offerings, and larger equipment and power tools will be made available for rent – which previously residents may have had to trek to cities north to find – including small tractors and jackhammers.
The outside area of the garden center will have a number of shade structures so that the trees and shrubs can be kept healthy in the summer heat and will also carry a large selection of pots and fountains. During the winter, plans are in the works to turn the garden center into a Christmas store which will have live and artificial trees, as well as gifts and decorations
The renovated building exterior has been remodeled to reflect more of a lodge theme in-keeping with the area’s traditional look, with stone columns around the entry and various stylized facades facing the South Century Drive frontage to add individual character and create a more inviting look for locals and vacationers in the area.
Parking lot area updating includes ADA upgrades and enhanced landscaping features.
The new store’s soft opening is scheduled for some time in May this year, with a Grand Opening following in June.
Camp Abbot Trading Company, 56820 Venture Lane, Sunriver, OR. Tel. (541) 593-8168.