(VA) Green Top taking over Gander Mountain store


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JohnBT
June 1, 2012, 08:30 AM
That was the first thing I saw this morning on the front page of the paper. I hadn't had any coffee yet and all I could do was stand there and say "What?"

Gander Mtn opened the store in 2007 and then Bass Pro opened in 2008 and the battle was on.

Green Top has needed a new building for a long time. They'll be increasing their space from 12,000 square feet to 67,000 square feet. I'll miss the old place and the memories of 40 years of crowded shopping, but I'll get over it.

www2.timesdispatch.com/business/2012/may/31/8/gander-mountain-closing-store-green-top-sporting-g-ar-1956017/

www.greentophuntfish.com

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loadedround
June 1, 2012, 08:33 AM
That's the first I have ever heard of "Greentop".

JohnBT
June 1, 2012, 08:45 AM
They've been on U.S. 1 a half-mile west of I-95 since before there was an I-95. They opened in 1947 iirc.

http://www.greentophuntfish.com/graphics/greentopteam.jpg

There's a Dick's Sporting Goods store just down #1 across from the big mall and then GM opened almost between I-95 and Green Top and then a year later Bass Pro opened 2 miles up I-95.

Ryanxia
June 1, 2012, 10:09 AM
First time I've heard of a green top too. Gander Mountain has some good MRE's.

MAKster
June 1, 2012, 07:45 PM
I've never understood the love for Greentop. They do have the largest used gun selection in the area, but their prices are really high and the service is lacking. Last time I was in there after spending 45 minutes trying to get the attention of an employee I just gave up and left.

XD 45acp
June 1, 2012, 08:08 PM
They do have the largest used gun selection in the area, but their prices are really high and the service is lacking

Yup. You think the prices are up there now... wait till they get in that new building paying rent on all that square footage. I pretty much knew Gander won't gonna make it.

HOOfan_1
June 1, 2012, 08:10 PM
Green Top has needed a new building for a long time. They'll be increasing their space from 12,000 square feet to 67,000 square feet. I'll miss the old place and the memories of 40 years of crowded shopping, but I'll get over it.


No kidding...that place is always like a cn of sardines.

I always thought they could just buy that empty lot next to them and rebuild.

Glad they are expanding...not glad they are moving from their original spot and not glad we are losing Gander Mountain. Their prices were high, but they were competition and I did buy several things there.

I also agree...Green Top's prices are too high. They were lower than Gander Mountain, but the same prices as Bass Pro.

I thought their service was ok...my biggest problem getting served is that they are always too crowded and they don't have enough staff. Worst prices and customer service in the area is De Goff's though. I refuse to shop there.

BTW to the people saying they have never head of Green Top....it is a local store, it is not a chain. Most every sportsman in Virginia...and I would wager EVERYONE who is a sportsman in the Richmond area has heard of them

JohnBT
June 1, 2012, 08:17 PM
Strange, I've never seen that happen in there in 40 years. Maybe they need a take-a-number system because the lines can get long at the gun counter registers.

The guys are easy to talk to if they aren't running, and they even have their names on their shirts. :)

I have to ask, high prices compared to what, DeGoff's and Bass Pro? Maybe we're looking at different kinds of guns. I'm waiting on GT to get in just the right Ed Brown .45 or maybe a new Colt.

John

JohnBT
June 1, 2012, 08:21 PM
"I always thought they could just buy that empty lot next to them and rebuild."

Me too, but the article said they were renting the building. Maybe the family kept the property when they sold the business. I'll ask next time I'm in there if I remember.

Maybe it's time for me to retire and get a part-time job at Green Top. But the new indoor range would be closer by 10 miles.

John

HOOfan_1
June 1, 2012, 08:23 PM
Maybe it's time for me to retire and get a part-time job at Green Top. But the new indoor range would be closer by 10 miles.

John

Colonial Shooting Academy?

Wow...talk about overpriced...those guys must have made their backstops out of gold....

XD 45acp
June 1, 2012, 08:24 PM
Oh Gosh DeGoff's... You talk about High prices... Jesse James ain't dead, he's setting prices at DeGoff's. I like GreenTop though... Patrick has always treated me good.

HOOfan_1
June 1, 2012, 08:30 PM
Oh Gosh DeGoff's... You talk about High prices... Jesse James ain't dead, he's setting prices at DeGoff's. I like GreenTop though... Patrick has always treated me good.

They have the nasty attitude of Jesse James too.

I think $545 for a Glock Gen 3 and $550 for a S&W M&P full size and $470 for a Ruger SR9 is pretty high. Those are the prices in their sales flyer that I just got today.

If their prices are the same as Bass Pro...which they have been when I compared prices recently, then IMO they are too high.

Glock Gen 3 should be around $500 IMO...I bought mine at Gander Mountain for $500 just last year.
S&W M&P should be around $500 too.
Ruger SR9 should be around $400-$420

They also sell AR-15 stripped lowers for $145...that is pretty expensive

zoom6zoom
June 1, 2012, 08:39 PM
I always thought they could just buy that empty lot next to them and rebuild.
Supposedly they had received approval to build a range facility on that site.... so perhaps with five times the footage in the new location there will be a range included.

HOOfan_1
June 1, 2012, 08:47 PM
that tiny little BBQ joint out front was their original store. My dad said he and his dad always used to joke with the Hopkins family that they paid for half of the building they currently occupy.

XD 45acp
June 1, 2012, 08:56 PM
Phat Boyz BBQ... that's some good Q too. Look, now ya got me all hungry....

JohnBT
June 2, 2012, 08:22 AM
"those guys must have made their backstops out of gold.... "

120 tons of steel plate. In addition to the 51 shooting lanes, there's an 1800 sq.ft. shoot house in the basement with moveable walls for LE training (and IDPA I hear.) And a private club on the second floor with its own shooting lanes.

www.styleweekly.com/richmond/shooting-high/Content?oid=1691393


I remember the old Green Top in the little building. Do you remember when Buzz and Ned sold BBQ from their trailer on weekends? I nearly died when they said they weren't going to do it anymore, but they opened a store in Richmond not far from the ball park. Whew.

I don't know what to tell people trying to save a few bucks. I'm more about saving time now, not money. I remember when $50 or $100 meant something to me. Heck, I remember working at McDonalds when the price of a burger went from 15 cents to 18 cents.

HOOfan_1
June 2, 2012, 08:34 AM
I remember the old Green Top in the little building. Do you remember when Buzz and Ned sold BBQ from their trailer on weekends? I nearly died when they said they weren't going to do it anymore, but they opened a store in Richmond not far from the ball park. Whew.

I don't know what to tell people trying to save a few bucks. I'm more about saving time now, not money. I remember when $50 or $100 meant something to me. Heck, I remember working at McDonalds when the price of a burger went from 15 cents to 18 cents.

Now they have a store in the old Fuddruckers on West Broad....they are overpriced too. $5 for a BBQ sandwich the size of a McDonalds 99 cent burger. I can get a mammouth BBQ sandwich at Extra Billy's with 2 sides for $8....and at Extra Billy's they have servers instead of a mile long walk up line.

My dad pays $100 for a year membership at Black Creek Shooting Association. I go with him for a $5 guest fee. It is only about 20 mintues farther than Colonial and has a 100 yard range, which there is no way Colonial could have. I was excited about Colonial opening up until I saw $100 Initiation plus $35 a month.

JohnBT
June 2, 2012, 09:07 PM
"Extra Billy's"

I like the brisket the best. It's the former Cattleman's restaurant building from back in the day before liquor by the dirnk. I eat there, I work in the old Thalheimer's Westmoreland behind the Anthem building on Staple's Mill. Ukrop's owns it now.

"My dad pays $100 for a year membership at Black Creek"

Unless he has the weekday-only membership, he pays $150 a year, just like me. :)

John

HOOfan_1
June 2, 2012, 10:51 PM
"Extra Billy's"

I like the brisket the best. It's the former Cattleman's restaurant building from back in the day before liquor by the dirnk. I eat there, I work in the old Thalheimer's Westmoreland behind the Anthem building on Staple's Mill. Ukrop's owns it now.

"My dad pays $100 for a year membership at Black Creek"

Unless he has the weekday-only membership, he pays $150 a year, just like me. :)

John

Yeah he just switched from any day to weekday....crowded enough on weekdays, I cringe to think what it is like on a weekend

Black Knight
June 3, 2012, 03:41 PM
I'll miss the old place to. I got my first handgun there, a 6" Colt Python back in 1979. I also got my first snub nosed revolver there years later, a 2 1/2" S&W 66-2. Boy the memories do come back.

JohnBT
June 3, 2012, 05:35 PM
Remember when they had ashtrays and you could smoke inside? :)


"Glock Gen 3 should be around $500 IMO...I bought mine at Gander Mountain for $500 just last year."

Maybe if they'd charged more for guns they wouldn't be leaving town next month and Green Top wouldn't be moving into the building. But really, how you you say what a gun should cost without knowing what the shop pays in rent, utilities, salaries, insurance, etc. You can't.

Steel Horse Rider
June 3, 2012, 05:43 PM
Everyone who does not own a business knows everything about how a business should be run,,,, just ask them. It is easy to have all the answers when you don't have to sign the checks.

wheelgun6T9
June 3, 2012, 08:34 PM
Bought my first handgun there over 20 years ago...and I'd guess a dozen guns there since then. They have a great used inventory - and I've found their new prices competitive.

A couple of the guys there are lacking in quality service but I just steer clear of them. Patrick is a stand up guy and I try to deal with him mostly. There are other great guys there as well. All gun shops have their share of turds...

I'm looking forward to the move. They already have a great supply of reloading and accessories - that will grow even larger. And it's a local business and I always like to see local businesses grow and prosper.

- wheelgun6t9

CajunBass
June 3, 2012, 09:00 PM
Green Top taking over Gander Mountain Store

That's what Travis was telling me yesterday when I was in there.

Yea, I'm going to miss this place, but then I miss the OLD place when all they sold was guns. I knew they were going to mess up when they expanded and started selling fishing tackle and clothes too. Oh...wait...that worked out pretty well for them, didn't it?

High prices? Compared to what? You see anything less expensive at Bass Pro? Or Degoffs? When was the last time you saw a classic Smith & Wesson or Colt revolver in one of those places? You might have. I don't know. I gave up looking.

They need to take Phat Boyz with them. I've waited out many a background check in that place.

Oh...and they better save me my front door parking place. It seems every time I stop there, one of the places right in front of the door is open. :D I've gotten so I sort of expect it now. ;)

jaysouth
June 3, 2012, 09:26 PM
For those folks outside the Richmond area, Green Top is a cultural tradition that ranks with the Museum of the Confederacy or The Tobacco Company. If you are not 'seen' there on Friday after work, you won't get any invitations for the cotelion balls or shad plankings(just kidding!!).

I have been in there on Friday afternoons when Federal judges, investment bankers, mill workers and pulp wood hands were rubbing shoulders at the pistol counter.

Gun fanciers in central Virginia owe a debt of gratitude to Green Top for giving them such a visible shrine and common ground for their sport.

The founder, Cecil Hopkins will be long remembered when the name of every governor after Thomas Jefferson is long forgotten. Gander and Bass Pro did not do their market research in the Richmond area. Then again 'suits' probably could not understand loyalty and traditions in Richmond. A classic case of a local family fighting and winning an up hill battle against the carpetbaggers in a region that still understands what that term means.

CajunBass
June 4, 2012, 06:24 AM
For those folks outside the Richmond area, Green Top is a cultural tradition that ranks with the Museum of the Confederacy or The Tobacco Company.

When my wife escaped from the Chicago suburbs and came to Richmond, she knew two things about the area. Ukrops and Greentops. She had read about them in Patricia Cornwalls novels. She had no idea they were both real institutions.

The first time I took her to GT's, her eyes bugged out as she saw the racks of rifles and shotguns, and the crowd around the handgun counter. She wispered to me..."Is this LEGAL?" I told her, "No, the cops don't know about this place, don't tell anyone." She hit me. :D

Today she loves to stop there, and they love her. I went in one day recently without her, and no one asked me how I was doing, it was all "Where's your wife?"

She almost cried when she found out Ukrops had been sold.

HOOfan_1
June 4, 2012, 08:38 AM
High prices? Compared to what? You see anything less expensive at Bass Pro?

Yes I have...and I bought it there. Saying I buy other place when I see better deals has nothing to do with me thinking I know how to run a business better than they do. It just means I know when to spend my money at Green Top and when to spend it elsewhere. Their overhead costs are not my concern. My wallet is my concern.

Their prices generally aren't as high as Gander Mountains were, but every gun I have been interested in and priced at the gun triangle in Hanover, Green Top was not always the lowest price. Gander Mountain was usually more expensive than Bass Pro and Green Top by $50. Bass Pro and Green Top usually had the same price, although sometimes Green Top was better, sometimes Bass Pro was better.

I am not one to believe I must buy local no matter what. I believe that competition is a good thing. Bass Pro and Gander Mountain are not running Green Top out of business, and obviously there is no danger in that happening. I will continue to look for deals whether they are at Bass Pro, Dance's or Green Top. I've bought 5 guns in the past 2 years; 2 of them were at Green Top, and that was when Green Top had the best price on those items, which happened to be on sale.

JohnBT
June 4, 2012, 09:03 AM
"She had read about them in Patricia Cornwalls novels. She had no idea they were both real institutions."

That's funny. Did she get there in time to buy one of the handguns Ms. Cornwall had consigned for sale?

I sorely miss Ukrop's because Martin's sux - it's just so average and the Carytown store is cluttered. It was fun while it lasted; watching Ukrop's run Safeway and Giant out of town over the years.

John

HOOfan_1
June 4, 2012, 09:20 AM
My family bought plenty of guns at Best products too...then they stopped selling anything but jewelry and cheap furniture and went out of business.

We bought plenty of electronics at Ward's TV/Circuit City, then they stopped selling appliances and replaced it with CDs and DVDs...and went out of business.

Used to buy plenty of Reynolds wrap, then they sold out to Alcoa and moved out of town.

Used to drive by the A.H. Robbins building on my way to work, then they sold out to some New Jersey company and now have left town.

Thalheimers, Miller & Rhodes...gone. Yup, Richmond doesn't have many traditions left.

JohnBT
June 4, 2012, 01:05 PM
"Used to drive by the A.H. Robbins building on my way to work, then they sold out to some New Jersey company and now have left town."

I think they sold the company so they could buy the University of Richmond.

:D


The only institution I miss is the old Border Cafe. RIP. Okay, and the Biograph Theater.

Sergei Mosin
June 6, 2012, 09:28 AM
Was in that Gander Mountain just the other day. No wonder they're going out of business, if the absurd prices I saw on a couple of Enfields are any guide. $900 for a 1950 Long Branch and $800 for a 1943 Lithgow? Crazy.

essayons21
June 7, 2012, 11:10 AM
When I was still buying from stores, mainly during the 2008-2009 shortages, I would make the round trip between Green Top, Gander Mtn, and Bass Pro. Sometimes I'd even head further up to TTI or Ashland Firearms if they were open, although that was mainly to check on some gunsmithing projects.

Depending on the day and what I was looking for, I found the best deal at all three. Gander Mtn had the best deals on new guns, Green Top was the place to go for reloading supplies and used guns, and Bass Pro was generally the best on accessories and some big ticket items like safes when they were running sales.

All three do a Mil/LEO discount, but I have found Green Top's is usually the best. Although now with my C&R discount at MidwayUSA and Brownells/Sinclairs, I find myself hardly leaving the desk to make my shooting purchases.

While the lane fees at Colonial Shooting Academy are pretty steep, the prices in the store seem very reasonable, especially on the few used guns they have, and the really expensive stuff like NF scopes and safes. While its nice to have such a nice indoor range nearby, when I want to do any real shooting I just make the drive out to Cavalier.

I can't say that I will miss the mosh pit by the handgun counter, nor having to wade my way over to the fishing side so I can pay for my box of bullets or can of lube.

Hopefully prices will stay the same, the staff will be less flustered, and there will finally be some elbow room.

Patriotme
June 8, 2012, 10:05 PM
The only suprise about Gander Mtn was how long they stayed open after Bass Pro Shops opened. I liked going in Gander Mtn once in a while and their customer service was always pretty good. Of course they usually had more employees than customers. They did have decent sales now and then. I haven't bought much from Bass Pro Shops but it's fun to look around. I agree that their pricing is a bit high.
I like Greentop. Some of their stuff is kind of high but like everything else you have to know what you're looking for. I've seen some pretty reasonable stuff there. I wouldn't go there in the evenings or on a weekend. They have decent customer service most of the time. One of the older guys seems a bit bored with customers but the younger guys do a good job in my opinion.

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