If this week’s heat wave has been any indication, summer is here along with all the awesome activities that come with it. It’s time for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, camping, hammocking, hiking, or whatever other activities are going to get you outdoors. If you find yourself heading to Ely for any of these activities this summer, we hope you’ll pay us a visit! After two years with lots of ups and downs, we are excited to announce that our retail space is finally reopen. It has taken a lot to get to this point, and we are still dreaming up plenty of improvements and plans for the future. Hopefully you’ll pay us a visit when you’re in the area and, if you do, here are five things you can expect to find.
1) Plenty of Gear
One of the parts of being open that excites us the most is having a place for people to actually see our products in person. We have all sorts of the things one might need for a canoe trip from portage packs, stuff sacks, compression bags, utensil rolls, map cases, pack liners, and more. Across the store from our canoe gear are the dog sports equipment such as leashes, jackets, collars, dog booties, harnesses, and more. For those of us who like quality-made gear, it’s nice to be surrounded by so many of the items that make our outdoor adventures possible.
2) Lots of History
As highlighted in our earlier posts, we’re excited about our home on Chapman St and all the history inside. We are far from complete in our process of uncovering that history, but our wood floor is ready to support guests again. The hope is to restore the floor further this fall, but, for now, every ding, dent, discoloration, and scratch is a reminder of past customers. It can now continue to be part of Ely’s history as a new generation of shoppers look for portage packs and dog sports gear. There’s other history around the space too such as our retail counter made from recycled wood from the area or the old packs decorating the walls. Each pack is proudly bearing the different generations of “Kondos Outdoors” logos that have long stood for quality made-in-Ely packs.
Speaking of Kondos logos, we have a bunch of old products that still need homes with people looking to bring them on loads of cool adventures. Look for our clearance section this summer as all products with our old logo are now 40% off. It’s a great chance to load up on all the same great quality gear for a lower price.
4) Made in Ely
Another experience that’s hard to miss when you walk in our retail store is the sound of gear being made just on the other side of the wall. The sound of tirelessly working sewing machines is unmistakable as portage packs and canoe gear get on their way to customers and their adventures. Many of our packs are heading to local outfitters to be sent into the Boundary Waters again and again. It’s really great when we are able to take our own trips in the BWCA to encounter one of our packs and think about how that portage pack started life on the cutting table and under the sewing machines right behind our retail space. We look forward to sharing those sounds and experiences with you this summer.
5) Kinda Cool People
When you walk into our store, you’ll walk into a place with people just as crazy about the outdoor adventures as you are. We make the gear that we like to use, and the person behind the counter will love to talk about canoeing, hiking, boundary waters, or whatever other adventures you’re looking forward to next. It’s very likely that they’ve been busy dreaming about that next trip exactly like you’ve been.
Whether you’re a local looking to check out what’s new in town or a visitor planning the last minute details for your trip to Ely, we hope that’ll you’ll make us part of your plans. We would love to show you our space and our gear and talk about whatever adventure is keeping you awake at night. Here’s to another open water season in Ely. We hope that it’s a good one!