outside recreation sports activities soared in 2020 // WJFW Newswatch 12

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Photo by WJFW Newswatch Jan.

Morgan Johnson story

Local news Published on 7/14/2021 4:22 PM, last updated on 7/14/2021 9:19 PM

Rhinelander – Mitch Mode, owner of Mel’s Trading Post in Rhinelander, usually looks at a full shelf of kayaks. At the moment it’s almost empty. Mel’s has a kayak in stock. And that has been the case for months.

As the COVID-19 pandemic began, more people turned to outdoor sports like paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoeing.

“Outdoor recreation of all categories has simply reached unprecedented levels in the past 12 months,” said Mode. “We saw this last year, we saw it over the winter, we see it now.”

In the past year, Mel’s has ordered and sold more than ever before. But just as the demand for these products skyrocketed, factories closed, resulting in a lack of supply. It’s easy for fashion: “Demand just exceeds supply many times over,” he said.

Now it’s a waiting game.

“We’ll be seeing a few more kayaks next week, I think we’ve been told,” said Mode. “You fill that shelf and then you’re gone. You will see the next kayaks in August.”

At the Chequamegon Adventure Company in Minocqua they were also blessed with a busy start to this season.

“I am very happy to have received so much product early on,” said owner Andrew Teichmiller. Teichmiller ordered outdoor leisure items earlier than usual.

“Our products came early and so we had a very busy start to the season, much earlier than in the past,” said Teichmiller. But just like Mel, the product sold very quickly to people from all over the country.

“We have people from the Chicagoland and Minneapolis, Dayton, Ohio areas, wherever people come from, because we actually had the products in stock,” he said.

And the demand doesn’t stop there. Both businesses assume that the trend will continue. They have already placed their orders for next summer to stay one step ahead of the game. Teichmiller predicts that the store will be sold out by next summer.

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