West Marine, the largest retailer of boating supplies, celebrated the expansion of its Kemah, Texas store with a grand opening celebration for its new West Marine flagship store in early May. The 25,000 square-foot store, the company’s largest in Texas, is more than double its previous size in order to accommodate West Marine’s “flagship store” concept.
That means more of everything, including the largest high-tech marine electronics selection in the state of Texas, a huge selection of casual and technical apparel and personal accessories such as sunglasses, waterproof watches and high tech shoes, an on-site sailboat rigging shop with an expanded sailboat hardware department, kayaks, inflatable boats, plus a motor shop and engine parts counter staffed by specialists.
The store also features a 2,500 square-foot fishing section focused on saltwater fishing in Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Knowledgeable staff will be on deck in the new “Fishing Shack” to offer advice, information and assistance in selecting the right lures and reels for the Upper Texas Coast area.
The three-day grand opening celebration featured visits from Chief Executive Officer Geoff Eisenberg and Edgar Hansen, deck boss and chief engineer of the fishing vessel Northwestern featured on “Deadliest Catch.” A fishing trip with Hansen was auctioned off during a “Cruising for a Cause” fundraiser on the first night, which included food and music by local bluewater singer/songwriter Kelly McGuire. Proceeds totaling $13,644 benefited local nautical charities including Galveston Bay Foundation and the Leukemia Cup Regatta.
Other weekend activities included an on-site pool for paddleboard and kayak demonstrations, product raffles, more food, tips from experts, seminars, and representatives from the store’s many product lines.
There are 30 associates at the new store with more 330 years of combined boating, fishing and sailing experience and more than 50,000 nautical miles under their collective belts. Store Manager and Clear Lake resident Nolan Vander-Haagen has been with West Marine for more than 18 years. The lifelong boater and fisherman has enjoyed the waters from the Gulf of Mexico to the Caribbean to the Atlantic Ocean.
“The entire Clear Lake West Marine crew is eager to serve our customers at our new location,” said Vander-Haagen. “We will offer everything needed, in terms of fishing gear, engine parts, clothing—whatever makes for a great day of boating and fishing, whether on Galveston Bay or the Gulf of Mexico.”