TWINSBURG -- Gander Mountain announced last week that it will liquidate and close all 126 of its stores this year, including the store on Creekside Drive.
Larry Finch, the city's director of planning and community development, said the storefront's ultimate fate is still uncertain. Gander Mountain filed for bankruptcy in March, and was purchased in a bankruptcy sale by Marcus Lemonis, star of CNBC's The Profit and the chairman and CEO of Camping World, he added.
Finch said that Lemonis will close "some 60 stores," and a May 11 Tweet by Lemonis confirmed that the Creekside Drive location will be one of the closed stores.
"Unfortunately, as of now these are the @GanderMtn stores that are not in. I will work to help you http://campingworldgoodsamjobs.com or store transfer" Lemonis Tweeted, with a list of stores that would close. The Ohio stores in Niles and Toledo will be maintained, according to Lemonis in his Tweets. He also posted that remaining Gander Mountain stores would be renamed GanderOutdoors. In response to a question posed as to why the Twinsburg store was to close, Lemonis replied that employees "would consolidate into other surrounding locations."
Finch said that there was a possibility that the Creekside Drive store could become a Camping World location, or the storefront might be closed entirely, but no definite plan has been announced as of press time.
"Nobody knows at this point," Finch said. "They will either retain it, or they will divest themselves of it. We are waiting for the other shoe to drop."
Jeff Myers, a spokesperson for Gander Mountain, said that stores typically employ between 20 to 30 full-time employees and 20-30 part-time employees, "depending on the size of the store." Myers said that there is no set timeline on when stores will shutter for good. He declined to say why the retail chain elected to close.
Finch said the city was concerned about what would happen to the structure and how long it could remain vacant.
"This is not a big income tax hit for us," Finch said. "The bigger concern is what it will do the the Creekside development area, having a vacancy. We want to fill that vacancy as soon as possible."
Representatives from Gander Mountain could not be reached for comment. According to information from Gander Mountain's website, the company, which sold sporting goods, hunting supplies, camping gear and boating supplies, will close after 57 years.