37 years of adventure: Mountain Gear owner reflects on store’s legacy

SPOKANE, Wash.— Mountain Gear outfitted adventurers for nearly four decades. Soon the Spokane store will close permanently.

The company had humble beginnings 37 years ago. Owner Paul Fish grew the business from his living room into an enormous building on Division. It didn’t take long for it to become known across the globe for its quality, product offerings, and expertise.


Spokane just welcomed us with opened arms, Fish said.

The company outfitted some of the most experienced athletes in the world. But now, Mountain Gear has started its final adventure.

Changing shopper demands and pressure by online competitors is partly to blame for the store shuttering.

There’s no one thing, Fish said. It’s a changing dynamic out there for me. I wanted to get out on my own terms, rather than be forced out and this was maybe approaching the last time I could do that.

Mountain Gear Owner

Mountain Gear manager Mark Beattie knows there is no replacing this store or the people who’ve helped make it great.

The guys and girls that do this on a daily basis and know what they’re talking about are so valuable, Beattie said. That online experience just isn’t the same.

With one final sale ahead, employees started to look back.

The accumulation of all the positive stories, the problems solved, the friends made, it’s a mosaic, Beattie said.

The love for adventure nurtured at Mountain Gear will remain long after the doors close.

Just keep going outside and having a good time, Fish said.

A closing sale will start Friday at 9 a.m. Items will be discounted up to 50 percent. Fish said he wants it to be a final thank you to the community that has been so supportive.

Mountain Gear Entrance