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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone offer some advise on getting a hobby shop open in my area?

Should I contact the Chamber of Commerce or something?

As you might imagine, it's pretty tough living an hour away from anything good and they're RC people. Ask them a question about anything styrene and they're stumped. Sure, they'll sell Testors and Humbrol paints but short of that, they're pretty "uhhhh".
 

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Good luck with it. In my area (40 mile radius) the 2 main hobby stores (one of which was hobby town) are both closed. There are 3 smaller ones - one of which focuses on RC racing, but does sell styrene, the other two sell gaming supplys and paint (thier styrene sections would fit in most closets). Other than that there are 2 Michael's (which only sells cars, planes and a few others but no secondary or import kits. Not to mention their selection of paints is not that good.

Is it any wonder that I now order almost everything online?
 

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The best way to get a hobby shop open in your area? Get together a ton of money and open your own. You can't force anyone else to open a business.
 

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Unless you know someone that has a passion for the hobby, it's not likely that you'll be able to get someone to open one. Hobby stores are not really known for making people rich, especially by themselves. I know a lot of stores around here used to run Hobby Stores as a complimentary business, so they ran a bike shop (busy in the Summer, slow in the winter) and a Hobby Store (Busy in the winter, not so much in the summer) just as one example...
 

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Businesses don't work that way. As far as I know, Chambers can only entice investors into a locality, and good luck trying to convince someone to invest in a hobby shop.

Maybe they could convince a nationwide chain of hobby shops that your town is the best place to open a new franchise ... but first, you might have to convince the Chamber that the market (beyond you) exists for a new hobby shop and that the hobby shop would be good for the area, providing significant employment and so on.

Maybe you could start a modeling club, and look within its membership for a well-heeled modeler to take the plunge. I wouldn't hold my breath, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The best way to get a hobby shop open in your area? Get together a ton of money and open your own. You can't force anyone else to open a business.
There's also enticing a company to open up shop where you are for the sake of an economic boost and to make it worthwhile to the company. No one's talking about forcing anyone to do anything.
 

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You're quite right - "force" was too, well, forcefull a term. What I meant was that there's not too much you can do individually to try and entice someone to open a small business in your area.

What about the local IPMS chapter? Perhaps you could get the members to go en-masse to the local chamber of commerce to try and figure something out?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I build spaceships. I'm lucky if I can get them to say hi to me.
 

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I build spaceships. I'm lucky if I can get them to say hi to me.
I here that! Man, I hate feeling embarrassed about my sci fi passion. Even though I have a great store here where I live, (and they carry tons of old Aurora, under glass cases) they still treat me like an alien when I come in. I'm 46 years old with some extra cash to spend. Unbelievable.


:mad:
 

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Make your feeling known to the shop owner and to the chapter.Your interest are just as valid as anyone elses.Your money is just as green!I actually found an IPMS chapter in Puerto Rico!I know its going to be an uphill battle, but I'm allways up for talking about the hobby,I've been doing it for 50 years now,and I have a ton of Sci-Fi models to show them!alex
 

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May as well face it, with this lack of new hobbiests, there are no new hobby shops opening these days. The numbers of those of us who love this stuff continue to shrink every year, which is why plenty of existing shops are closing; which is also a good indicator of why there are no new ones. Unless someone has a fortune to invest and no need to make money from that investment, a new hobby shop -anywhere- is simply not going to happen. I live in a town of 45 thousand residents, with a county population of about 2 million. 14 miles to the west is one of the largest Naval Air Stations in the world. Our only 'hobby shop' sells a lot of plaster figurines and has 3 empty paint racks. He doesn't even know what Mobieus is. The Hobby Town in Fresno won't buy an Evergreen floor rack, they just stock the original display box that came out 25 years ago. That means they don't even know what they have in stock, so I just have to wait until I need something else and keep my fingers crossed that they might have the Evergreen I need when I'm there. To be fair, they do have a Plastruct rack. But I don't use Plastruct unless I'm forced to because they don't have the Evergreen I want.

Lets face it-- we're damn lucky to still have the hobby shops we do have. But I think its just a matter of time before they're gone because Mom and Pop are going to want to retire someday...

Scott
 

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The only mom and pop shop in santa monica, (Evetts at Ocean Park and 17) has been in biz for 61 yrs and Evett's health has been going down the last few years. He and the lady are gonna keep at it until the end, but it's only another year or so and that's that. End of generation.
 

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The other thing you can try is IPMS or other model shows in your area. They run mostly during the spring and summer. I know there are numerous ones on the east and west coasts every year. They are inexpensive to attend (and enter your models in). You would also have a chance to meet with the dealers and see if they would be interested in a "brick and morter" store in your area.
 

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I here that! Man, I hate feeling embarrassed about my sci fi passion. Even though I have a great store here where I live, (and they carry tons of old Aurora, under glass cases) they still treat me like an alien when I come in. I'm 46 years old with some extra cash to spend. Unbelievable.


:mad:
Build what you like and like what you build....:thumbsup:

No need to feel embarrassed about what you build, if people don't understand your passion for what you build it's their loss not yours. In an industry that is losing market share, they need to embrace as the builders they can and help to grow the hobby. I recently joined two the clubs, the first is a group that gets together to support the hobby, it's free and we have people that do just about anything... The second has many of the same people but it's more formal and an IPMS chapter. When I first started attending they gave me a hard time about "If I don't ever see another Enterprise it will be too soon". I lost it and said "If I don't ever see another Panzer, P-51, Me-109, you name it, it will be too soon". The guy that said it slouched in his chair and the rest of the group made a point of stopping and talking to me. Ecery genre has something to offer the hobby and in some cases crosses many boundries of the others so its all about your talents........
 

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Lets face it-- we're damn lucky to still have the hobby shops we do have. But I think its just a matter of time before they're gone because Mom and Pop are going to want to retire someday...

Scott
That's what's happening to Bridgetown Hobbies here in Portland. To their credit though, the owners are trying to sell the business in order to keep it open...
 
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