The numbers are in, our twenty-sixth year was the busiest and most profitable. We got a big boost from the displaced Paradise people who, over the last two and a half decades have supported us by purchasing bicycles and kayaks. When the insurance checks came in they ran right in and resupplied. There is undoubtedly more to it than that...we've seen a big increase in Reno-based customers over these last few years. Most express frustration and disgust with the crowds they encounter during their Tahoe visits and are quick to say, "Lake Almanor is more accommodating, friendlier and definitely less crowded than Lake Tahoe."
I'm hoping this means we will see a re-energizing of the downtown Chester business scene. The east end of Chester (olde towne) is presently occupied by only a half-dozen brave merchants. There are definitely services and merchandise that are better supplied by local businesses. Keeping the money in the region is a much better strategy than sending hard-earned cash to Amazonville. Price is not everything. Personal service, advise and attention from a caring local businessperson is incredibly valuable. As I said, we are definitely doing better than "just hanging in there".
The decision I made 27 years ago to switch from teaching children to encouraging older outdoor recreators was timely and has been incredibly rewarding. When I pass this shop on to another family looking for those rewards, I know that they too will be serving the Chester community with pride and satisfaction. Folks just need a little encouragement and guidance to find excitement and a healthier life from playing in the out-of-doors.