Even though outdoor fans could have used some heart-warming news on a cold winter day, it was not to be. Reno Mountain Sports sent a notice to its best customers that the business was closing. Word spread fast…even before the doors opened today (Wednesday), longtime fans were lined up outside. Another landmark and piece of the fabric of Reno is leaving us. After 41 years of doing business on east Moana, co-owner Dave Garner is closing the doors for good. How was he feeling today? "Well, mixed emotions obviously. But it's time."

Already, the "store closing" signs are up. But for generations of shoppers, losing this Reno icon is like going without the outdoors. As longtime customer Anne Marie Harris put it to us, "We're losing a great local resource for outdoor wear." Richard Merriner drove all the way from Carson City when he heard the news…to buy a ski jacket, and say goodbye. As he said, "Everything I got here they stood behind. And I never got a bad deal here."

The independents seem to be leaving us in this field. Who else remembers Copeland's at Meadowood Mall? The Outdoorsman…the Ski Swap. Codding & Wetzel and Mojo's in Carson City, or most recently The Sportsman near Keystone in Reno...all closed. But Dave doesn't hold a grudge against the big box stores that are taking over. He and the owners are just looking to retire. As he told us, "We want to do something else. We don't want to be doing this until we croak!"

He does say the closure comes sooner than expected. There has been a bigger battle with competition, but a too-long run of not enough snow is hurting ski equipment sales more than most realize. Dave said, "3 years of drought has reinforced that decision to close."

But longtime customer Suzanne Cumming is not ready to see another old favorite disappear. What does this place mean to her? "Coming in October and looking at the clothes and skis and getting that hyped-up feeling of going skiing! That's my memory."

They tried to sell the business to keep it open, but no offers yet. This week, everything is discounted 20-70%, with maybe some room for "wheelin' and dealin." The last day of business will probably come in May, after they sell off all their leftover watersports gear for spring. And even though he's looking forward to retirement, Dave admits he'll miss the place too. His message? "Thank you all. We've thoroughly enjoyed the run, and you made it all possible. So...come on down. At least say goodbye."

-written by John Potter