Brothers connect for sports store partnership

Chad Stephenson and Todd Nordstrom have big plans for the sporting goods store they recently purchased.

The brothers purchased Out--door Connections, 34 E. Victory Way, on June 27 from Nick Kamzalow.

Stephenson and Nordstrom said they will remodel the store. The shop will still have the fishing and archery sections that the location is known for, and the brothers will expand to carry muzzle-loading rifles and accessories for the upcoming hunting season.

The first muzzle-loading rifles are on order for the business.

The store will carry everything from a low-end starter rifle to a top-of-the-line muzzle-loader. The brothers will sell patches, rods, bullets, powder and cleaning supplies for the weapons.

The brothers, who grew up in Iowa, say muzzle-loading has become increasingly popular because of overcrowding in the regular rifle seasons. Muzzle-loading gives hunters a chance to get out before the animals are spooked by hunting pressure.

Warmer weather also is a benefit to hunting early, as well as catching the animals in rut, allowing the use of game calls.

"We've been outdoor enthusiasts for years," Stephenson said. "We think Craig is a great location to have a business like this."

The store will maintain the quantity of archery supplies it is known for. And when it comes to fishing, they plan on being second to none in equipment, including ice-fishing gear.

"We're definitely keeping the fishing part," Stephenson said. "We will carry a full line of fly and lure fishing equipment."

The brothers are discussing returning boat rentals to the business, offering canoes and one-man pontoon boats for anglers and recreational boaters.

Outdoor Connections will have hunting and fishing licenses for sale as soon as equipment is in place.

Stephenson was in the Army until 2004, and discovered Craig when his father took a job with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The brothers said they enjoy the area and hope to expand the store to accommodate sportsmen in Northwest Colorado.

They are working with the Craig Chamber of Commerce and plan to hold a grand opening celebration in August.

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