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Keith McCord ReportingSay goodbye to another long-time Utah business that's closing due to hard times. Angler's Inn, which carried just about everything for the fisherman is closing its doors for good tomorrow.
Angler's Inn in Sugarhouse is having a sale, but not just any sale. Everything has to go: poles, lures, bait and flies. And, no pun intended, the stuff is ‘flying’ out of there.
Angler's Inn opened its first store in 1976 and eventually had four stores operating. But in recent years the actual number of people grabbing a pole and heading to a lake or stream has declined.
Statistics compiled by the Division of Wildlife Resources show a steady decline in fishing license sales since 1995, when more than a half-million were issued. Last year, about 404,000 licenses were purchased. Fewer people fishing, means fewer people buying supplies...
But there are other reasons affecting business at Angler's Inn.
Jerry Donaldson, Asst. Mgr.: “And you've got that coupled with a five year drought that we’re all aware of. And then people can't fish in water where there's no fish. And then you've got a pretty tough economy right now on the job market."
Sporting goods superstores and Internet sales have also hurt. So everything must go--even the plastic lures to catch squid--at 70 percent off. Tied flies, which sell for as much as $2.50, now go for 25-cents. Fishing lures for a dime. With prices like this, fishermen are coming in from everywhere.
Jerry Donaldson, Asst. Mgr.: "They come in and see 10-cents for a lure? Exactly, 10-cents for a lure that was normally 2.50. And then out comes his cell phone to his friends, to his wife, whatever. And then everybody's in on the act."
Dave Card had his arms full of bargains. He's a long-time shopper at Angler's Inn.
Dave Card, Fisherman: “It’s sad. I’ve been coming here my whole life…Sad to see it go.”
A couple of days ago a guy came in and bought 800 flies! He said he never wants to tie another one. Hey, at 70-percent off, why not? Angler's Inn shuts down at 6 o'clock tomorrow night.