By Sarah Pridgeon
Sundance Dillon’s Hardware launched Black Iron Guns and Off the Grid Sports just over a year ago but, during the months since, the selection has quite literally doubled in size. To celebrate the culmination of a year’s worth of efforts, Reggie Gaylord invites the community to a grand opening launch event and sale on April 25 and 26.
“We wanted to add a flair to the store, something that grabbed everyone’s attention,” he says of the expansion.
“The old hardware store had some attention grabbing [qualities], but not enough to bring tourists in and to stretch out and reach other people.”
After first converting a 900-square foot area to house guns, knives and ammo, Dillon’s then repurposed another 900 feet to add more to its sporting goods range. The store now offers everything from fishing, camping, hunting and meat processing supplies to under-armor, apparel and weaponry.
“You name it, it’s in here,” Gaylord smiles.
“In 1800 square feet, we’ve tried to do everything sporting goods.”
The overall intention, he says, is to entice tourists to visit the Sundance area and become a fuller resource for the community at the same time.
“I want people to see that we’ve developed it for the public. It has everything – we wanted it to become the convenient general store that everyone wanted it to be,” says Gaylord.
“We’ve added three billboards to the interstate and we’re trying to get people into town and into our store and into the restaurants – we’re trying to entice people to come to Sundance. This area is known for its hunting and outdoors, so we wanted to figure out a way to attract people and let them know that.”
After adding the initial room, interest grew fast and it quickly became obvious that the store couldn’t stock all the basics it needed to in such a tight space.
“That’s what made us do the expansion,” he nods.
“We still have all of our hardware lines – in fact, they have expanded too. We didn’t lose one thing through this expansion.”
The store will still stock a full greenhouse to sell dirts, trees and shrubs. Despite adding no square footage to the building, Dillon’s has actually added to its traditional selection.
“Everything is still here in the heart of what Dillon’s has always been known to have, but now we’ve added 1800 square feet – without any actual additions,” Gaylord explains.
“All of it is original. We even found the old wooden floors under orange shag carpet, brown tile and a thick layer of tar.”
Stock will change seasonally and is currently focusing on summer activities such as fishing and turkey hunting. As hunting season comes around, the selection will turn to hunting goods.
In addition, the store now buys, sells and trades used guns.
“That’s a big thing that we didn’t do last year but we are doing this year. Now we have new and used inventory for our weapons,” says Gaylord.
The store is now, he says, close to being complete.
“Of course we will always finesse it, but it is close.”
Dillon’s has also added a handicapped accessible front entrance, which Gaylord says has been a huge asset both to the community and the store – one customer told him that he had not set foot in the store for 12 years before the entrance was completed.
The grand launch event will take place on Friday, April 25 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, April 26 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
On Friday night, visitors can expect free food from the barbecue and complementary beer, soda and other drinks. There will also be a barbecue during the Saturday lunch hour, beginning around noon.
During the event, many inventory lines will be on sale and there will be giveaways – including for a gun, although the exact model has yet to be confirmed.
“It’s a secret gun – it’ll be a surprise,” Gaylord grins.
“Everyone can come and get a tour of the new store, the new entrance and everything that we’ve done inside. Same old bones, way new face!”