Outdoor gear popular during pandemic | Local News
Across the country, the drive for social distance in the face of COVID-19 has resulted in many people spending more time in the great outdoors.
So it’s no wonder that in a place like Cody, which has so much territory to explore, people benefit even more than before.
At Rogers Sports Center, the demand for vehicles has kept the staff busy. People want to spend their time outdoors, one of the few activities largely untouched by the pandemic. Roger specializes in weight training, and co-owner Jenni Rosencranse said the coronavirus pushed sales to record highs while delays by manufacturers kept their showroom empty.
“I could never have predicted the year we’d had, I don’t think anyone could, but I’m in the outdoor leisure business and people can’t do other things.” Said Rosencranse. “We made a lot of people say, ‘Well, our anniversary trip to Alaska was canceled’ or ‘Our family trip to Hawaii was canceled, so we want to spend the money doing something as a family that we can enjoy in our back yard. ‘”
Just like with RVs and RVs, people grab ATVs and side by side whenever they can. As in so many other industries, rose cranes have made it difficult for their customers to get what they ordered due to increased demand and factory delays.
“I have probably 30 to 40 units that I have down payments on that I don’t have yet and people are patiently waiting to get them,” she said. “Then I have some here that are being sold and have accessories that have been reordered so I can’t really deliver them without the accessories. So it looks like I have things in my showroom, but almost everything out there is sold. I’m just waiting for accessories. “
Rocky Mountain Discount Sports is well stocked with ice fishing gear. Manager Madison Pendley said that’s because they learned their lesson from the spring and summer – more people fish.
“There are a lot of new people, a lot of families, and I think that’s nice to see,” she said. “Fishing lures were as hard to come by as anything.”
She said the surge in device sales began along with the first wave of COVID-19 restrictions in the spring that kept many people at home. It’s mostly spin-casting equipment that has left the shelves – more beginner-friendly and cheaper than fly fishing.
With that in mind, Pendley said hunting equipment sales didn’t see the same increase, other than regular hunters buying equipment to process their crops themselves.
She saw two main reasons why fishing gear, not hunting gear, was so in demand.
“Fishing is cheaper, you can go out and buy a rod and have $ 50 on it versus hundreds for the hunt,” she said. “And the Wyoming people tend to have guns and ammunition on hand.”
While there is a shortage of ammunition and many guns are backordered, this has focused on self-defense weapons and ammunition. While there are still plenty of boxes of bird shots left in the Cody store, staff expect people to flock to ice fishing gear – as soon as it gets cold enough.
Alta Clark, manager at Sunlight Sports, said her business had seen a surge in winter goods sales this year. Notably, Clark said this has resulted in an increase in backcountry touring equipment that can throw individuals off the trail into the wilderness.
“It sells really, really well,” said Clark.
It’s no surprise that skiers and snowboarders are looking to backcountry activities to avoid the possible congestion of lift lines and base lodges during the pandemic. She said even ski resort employees have bought equipment that allows them to hike uphill.
Sales at Sunlight Sports are following a trend across the west, leading to related concerns of severe overcrowding in backcountry trailheads in higher population states such as Colorado and Montana.
Clark said that trend followed in snowshoe sales as well. The store bought high quality snowshoes compared to previous years this year but was still selling more products, with only 25% of the total remaining as of Monday.
Clark said people should be careful before going into the backcountry.
“Do you have good friends – people who know what they’re doing and take care of your back,” she said.