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01-10-2016 05:20 PM  4 years ago
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jackp332

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Claremont, Nh USA

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Kind of Sad....
I just drove through Rutland, VT. and saw that Mikes Hobbies has closed it's doors. It was dark and the front door was papered over. On it was written, 'Thank You for 34 Years'. This made me think back to the first time my parents brought me there as a wide eyed 12 year old kid. (I am 34 now) I remember starring in awe at all the amazing high tech rc stuff of the early 90's on his shelves, thinking how I'd like to do that some day. It wasn't long after that I got my first rc car kit (an rc10t) and my life has never been the same. I bought many things over the years from Mike's, but as my tastes for higher end gear changed and my knowledge grew, I found myself gravitating towards mail order and then online. I still would wander in every so often over my adult years for the occasional glow plug, CA glue, fuel tubing, or jug of nitro- but never for any substantial purchase. I would honestly just go to browse, and for the atmosphere. It saddens me to think that no other young child will ever have that exhilarating experience of walking into his shop and being exposed to hobby grade rc products for the first time. Mike's was one of the very last real hobby shops left in the state and will be truly missed. In my heart I know why the store went out- I don't mean to start a debate. I know the path I chose in this hobby plays a large part in the difficulty retail stores have. I just want to thank Mike's Hobbies and the gruff but very kind once you got to know him owner Lee Valencourt. You will be missed sir.
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01-10-2016 05:56 PM  4 years ago
eddiscus

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Dumont, NJ-USA

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Sorry to hear of the closing of a good Brick and Mortar hobby store. They are an asset to our future of the hobby. Unfortunately in my area the cost of a store front makes it next to impossible to sustain a hobby store. To cover the vast selection of RC products requires a large store with overhead costs.

My local store sustains himself by offering repair service's on RC models. By the looks of the back log on his shop floor it seems people like wreaking the stuff.

Goes without saying that a B&M store also needs to have an online presence as well to be competitive and stay in business. Again this requires significant stock and space to maintain that stock.

Like Jack it always nice to stop by the store and shoot the breeze for awhile with fellow hobbyists.
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01-11-2016 12:58 AM  4 years ago
artimus

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Buckley WA

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I felt the same way when an LHS closed in my area....walked in there for years with high hopes and dreams of all the cool stuff.
There is another hobby shop a ways away but I went there and picked part for helis.....fast forward to today. Not a heli part in the store ...but you can get a dozen different quads and part all over the wall. The owner told me my hobby was dead. Nobody flys helis anymore he told me. I showed him a local event the had 96 registered pilots and then pointed to IRCHA and showed him how wrong his perception of the hobby was.
He was complaining how bad the hobby buesiness was to stay open.
Thats when I told him I would still be flying helis long after he has closed his doors. The quad thing will die out and he will have really empty shelves waitin for the next hobby fad to pop....but he already alienated the heli people that supported him for so long. The only difference will be that I will have to buy my glue online.
Fly Hard......Team Viagra
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01-11-2016 04:37 AM  4 years ago
Jerry K

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Houston Area

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I understand the pains the B&M shops have going on but look at some of the online shops also. I am afraid there is another going down the tubes. Do a search and I am sure it will become apparent which one I am referring to. The heli business and RC modeling in general is going down in a ball of flames. The ironic thing here is that quads may well be the origination of this flaming mess. I have flown it all, over the past 55 years!!! But We may be able to lay this one on the FAA for shutting down CL in the DC area. About how stupid is that.

There is no way we are going to win on this front, I am sorry to say. We are in an era when the guberment simply does what they want, when they want to who ever they want, making laws through the stroke of the pen as opposed to the way it is suppose to be done.

There is a pendulum swinging and for a long time in this country was on the south end now we are on the north and it has swung too far that way. It will take time for it to come back toward the middle
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01-11-2016 06:15 AM  4 years ago
sean911sc

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San Diego

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LHS are becoming a thing of the past. Just like how Radio Shack used to be the place to go for electronic stuff, DOW and Circuit City. Heck KMart used to be the local goto store. I know all too well LHS stock what's going to move and keep them in business. Even with an online presence prices need to be on point as the major Internet only shops usually have better prices and sales. Doesn't have to be a LHS, but any business that ends the phrase with, "we can order it" leaves me ording it myself and getting the savings. Not mention I can have all my goodies delivered. I do miss the good old days. Any of you recall riding your bike around the neighborhood had finding the house with the garage door open only to display a vast collection of balsa wood models and RC planes, etc. Yeah it was nice time.William S Harris
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01-11-2016 09:29 AM  4 years ago
mcfast

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Quebec Quebec Canada

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We have 3 hobby shops here in Quebec cite and they are all doing great, one has being open for about 40 years they sell all most everything that has to do as far has hobby goes, real big, he even has a 40 thousand $ airwolf in the store front as a demo, the other two are a lot smaller, one as been open for about 15 years and one just open last year, all doing great ! but I still order most of my stuff online, its a lot cheaperP.S. sorry for the spelling or the grammar I am dyslexic!
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01-11-2016 04:25 PM  4 years ago
Jerry K

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Houston Area

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I would shop at mine more often IF they had what I needed and they did not charge 3x the price I can buy it on line. I wanted to buy some Gemfan props to get slightly better battery life over the bullnose props I was running. I can buy them all day long at 1.99 for a pack of 4 and the LHS had them for 5.99. I do not mind paying a little more for the availability but 3x is highway robbery.
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01-11-2016 08:48 PM  4 years ago
rcnut

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Rockford, Illinois

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I would by more from our LHS if they carried some of what I use. I've been approached by my LHS about this, so I gave them a list of the things I buy that they could get...I got yelled at. They can't come close to that price (3 times mark up), and they are not going to stock something only one person will buy. So I asked them why they even bother to ask me? Our LHS is weird...Team Miniature Aircraft
"I love the smell of Nitro in the morning!"
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01-11-2016 11:50 PM  4 years ago
jackp332

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Claremont, Nh USA

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Yes, I too have had local shops ask what they should stock when they find out you know what you are talking about. Like you said, usually the problem with this is the items are things only you would want AND when you ever come back in you are expected to buy the items you recommended.
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