Crowds flock to new hardware store in Hood River

Dean Rockett, 12, accepts a hamburger from Greg Clarke at the West Side firefighters’ barbecue at Hood River Supply’s grand opening Saturday.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
Dean Rockett, 12, accepts a hamburger from Greg Clarke at the West Side firefighters’ barbecue at Hood River Supply’s grand opening Saturday.

The largest dining hall in town on Saturday was located in the shed at a new hardware store.

Crowds gathered at long tables and on hay bales at Hood River Supply for hot dogs and hamburgers cooked by West Side Fire Department.

Saturday was a record sales day for the expanded store, on Tucker Road on the Heights, said CEO Pat McAllister, terming the facility the company’s largest capital construction since the original Heights building went up in 1967. Hood River Supply also owns a store in Odell.

The Heights store expansion was completed in April, but the store waited until May 30 to June 1 to invite the community in for a party, the usual time for the store’s customer appreciation event.

“This project is a community effort,” involving the Hood River Supply cooperative members and contractors on the project, McAllister said. Local contractors did everything from the parking lot paving, framing and landscaping, to paint, carpeting and the fire suppression system.

“We only let contracts to people who do business with Hood River Supply,” McAllister said. General contractor and project manager was Randy Franz of Hood River. The project cost $3.3 million for the building and property.

Also part of the weekend festivities were lawn mower and grill give-aways, performances by local musicians, volunteers and dogs from Adopt A Dog, kids painting flower pots with the help of Hood River Valley High School cheerleaders, and more.

McAllister said the traffic delays due to ODOT paving on the Heights on Thursday were not a problem for people coming to and from the store.

The store now measures 19,500 square feet, tripling the size of the former store, which was torn down to make room for parking.

“We’re bolstering our lawn and garden,” McAllister said. “One of our biggest areas for growth in last few years has been the lawn and garden side.”

The north garden center shed remains a “work in progress,” while the interior arrangement of merchandise is mostly in place. The added floor space gives Hood River Supply enough room to stock and display large items such as patio furniture and tractors.

Paint, fasteners and general hardware also have at least twice as much retail room as before, according to McAllister.

Setting the right product mix and “getting things merchandised just right” is an ongoing process of fine-tuning, he said.

“We’ve partnered with Ace, having been with them since 1976, and have increased our partnership, taking advantage of things they have offer,” McAllister said. “They were our main partner in establishing the Odell store.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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