2008-06-07 / Top News

Mackinac Outfitters Has New Owner

By Diane Ivey

Sam Barnwell, the new owner of Mackinac Outfitters, at the store's new Main Street location. The 22-year policy of providing high quality products at reasonable prices, he said, is one of the reasons he bought the outdoor gear and clothing store. Sam Barnwell, the new owner of Mackinac Outfitters, at the store's new Main Street location. The 22-year policy of providing high quality products at reasonable prices, he said, is one of the reasons he bought the outdoor gear and clothing store. Hikers, bicyclists, and fishermen won't have to stock up anywhere else. Mackinac Outfitters is under new ownership, but it's still the same outdoor retailer it's always been.

Sam Barnwell bought the store from Hugh Ravitz this spring, when Mr. Ravitz decided to pursue other business ventures after 22 years at the store.

"Mr. Ravitz wanted someone on the Island to have the store," Mr. Barnwell said. "He liked the single-ownership tradition, and he knew I could keep things going."

Mr. Barnwell will continue to keep his other jobs, at the Iroquois hotel and as one of the Island's paramedics. He'll also be keeping Mackinac Outfitters' second location, the Mackinac Outfitter & Marina Supply, next to Yoder dock. He said the downtown location on Main Street is an added bonus that could bring new business to the store.

"There's more space on Main Street, and it's, overall, a better location," Mr. Barnwell said. "People get off the ferry and we're right there."

One of the things that attracted Mr. Barnwell to the store was its name brand gear. Mackinac Outfitters carries sunglasses, clothing, footwear, supplies, packs, and marine hardware in name brands like The North Face and Native.

"I like that we charge realworld prices," he said. "There's maybe a $2 increase for shipping to the Island, but it's still very reasonable for high quality gear."

Mr. Barnwell doesn't plan to change anything in the store for awhile, and he hopes to continue Mr. Ravitz's legacy of providing good outdoor gear at low prices.

"We've built up a phenomenal line of outdoor goods, and I hope to keep it that way," he said.

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