Update on downtown businesses

Downtown owner selling busineses, but occupancy still high in area

Saturday’s events in downtown highlight many of the positives of downtown businesses.

William Nelson has owned Three Rivers Outdoors for 10 years. If your favorite activities area involve the outside, he’s usually got you covered.

After all these years, however, he’s selling the business.

“Business is good. It is. For me, all the other things I have commitments on has gotten to be a little too much for me to manage everything adequately.”

Despite the news, it’s a chance for others to continue the lead of strong downtown stores.

“If your downtown is vibrant, you can withstand that. It can be challenging, but it also opens up opportunities for new businesses to move into those available storefronts.” said Robin Moses of Downtown Mainstreet Inc.

The outlook for downtown businesses has improved over the last couple of years.

“Two and a half years ago we were close to a 20 percent vacancy, so if you look at just in the 2 1/2 years, we’ve filled many of our available storefronts.” said Moses.

For Nelson, finding someone to continue in that success is a priority.

“It’s an outstanding location. The downtown area is great, it’s very vibrant.” said Nelson. “What I’m really hoping for is somebody who is able to give that kind of focus and energy and to keep the store going and in the direction it needs to go in.”

Nelson is planning on closing Three Rivers Outdoors around Nov. 15. He is hoping to find an owner as quickly as possible to continue serving the area with sporting supplies.

Saturday isn’t the only day this weekend that highlights the downtown region. The Tour of Upper Living, which highlights many of the places to live in downtown, takes place tomorrow from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Tickets for the tour are $20 if you purchase them Sunday. The tickets can be found at Downtown Mainstreet, as well as at many businesses in downtown La Crosse.