By Richard Rourk
A new business has officially opened in downtown Erwin.
Erwin Outdoor Supply, located at 113 Union St., held a soft opening event on Saturday, March 2, then officially opened its doors the following day.
During the soft opening, owners Tyler and Brandy Bevins and Mark Lafever welcomed friends and family to the newly renovated store.
“We are super excited, it’s been booming since 2 p.m.” Brandy Bevins told The Erwin Record. By 5 p.m., there were already more than 200 customers that passed through the doors.
The owners hope their store will showcase the importance of the outdoors and promote an active lifestyle. The Bevins and Lafever also hope the store will help people identify Erwin as a trail town on a larger scale.
“We want to be a place for locals and visitors,” Brandy Bevins said.
It’s estimated that more than 2 million hikers come through the area each year, according to information released by the store. The owners want to capture those hikers and be a place for them to rest, recharge and buy necessary gear.
Brandy Bevins also said that they hope to leverage their proximity to the Appalachian Trail, Rocky Fork State Park, Nolichucky River, Cherokee National Forest and other outdoor assets to help make their business more successful.
Erwin Outdoor Supply plans to host classes on basic outdoor adventures to get more people participating in outdoor recreation. The store will also rent Trek bicycles and sell Pyranha kayaks.
Erwin Outdoor Supply will offer a variety of supplies, gear, services and knowledge for outdoor lovers at every level, from beginners to experts. The store will offer everything from to-go food for hikers and gear from top outdoor brands and a community gathering place to relax and refuel.
“Erwin is doing big things,” Brandy Bevins said. “We are also looking at having live music here as well.”
On Saturday, the owners welcomed those who came to share the experience with them.
“Tyler and Brandy shared their idea with me, and I’m very thankful to be a part of this,” Lafever said. “There are so many people I would like to thank, there are too many to name, I just want to thank all you that have helped along the way.”
Lafever mentioned spending time as a child downtown while his father was working in the neighboring building for more than 30 years and what it meant to him to be here today.
“I want to thank Tyler for believing in me, and Mark as well,” Brandy Bevins said. “We all found our place. When we started we ran into a couple from Greeneville, South Carolina, and they advised that everyone needs to find a place and your business will run much more smoothly.” Bevins continued by thanking all of those who have supported them along the way.
A grand opening and ribbon cutting for Erwin Outdoor Supply is slated for Saturday, March 30. Survivor contestant Gavin Whitson, brand representatives, food trucks, giveaways and more will take place at that time.
For more updates follow Erwin Outdoor Supply on Facebook or visit them during store hours. The regular business hours for Erwin Outdoor Supply will be Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. The store will be closed on Mondays.