Gulf Coast Hockey Plus closing Estero store

The southernmost hockey shop on the Gulf Coast will be shuttering its doors in favor of its Fort Myers location.

Gulf Coast Hockey Plus owner Scott Schilling announced on Facebook Wednesday that he is closing his Estero shop after 10 years and will move all his inventory to his smaller shop at the Ft. Myers Skatium.

The Estero shop, 9510 Corkscrew Palms Circle, Suite 3, will have a sale in the meantime, according to his Facebook post:

GCHP would like to thank all of our customers for a great 10 years in our Estero location which we will be closing and moving everything remaining to our Skatium location in Fort Myers. Everything in Estero is 30% off till May 13th!
 This is disappointing to hear, but not unexpected. The Florida Everblades’ pro shop22 inside Germain Arena has stepped up its game and has support as part of a network, HockeyEmpire.com. The Everblades pro shop has recognized its advantage of corner the market by offering a wide variety of equipment and service inside an arena serving both hockey players at the two rinks and the fans stopping in from the Everblades games.
GCHP wasn’t too far away down the road from Germain and had an equally impressive selection of equipment, worked well with team orders, but I’d have to give the nod to the Everblades shop for goalie gear. I bought a set of elbow pads at GCHP at a good deal, so it should be worth checking out before they close up. The store is also known for its friendly collie, Carter, roaming the store greeting customers.
The Skatium store, 2250 Broadway, Fort Myers, is a very small shop that takes advantage of the walls to provide inventory. I haven’t been there in a month or so, and hopefully they will be able to expand its space.
The owner, Schilling, is a native of West Allis, Wisc., and played two years of college hockey for Lebanon Valley College, located northeast of Hershey, Pa., outside of Lebanon.
A YouTube video by Justin Kline that gives more insight into the shop and Schilling. Here’s a transcript for the video impaired:
“I’m from Wisconsin and originally ran a couple of hockey stores up there for 10 years for two hockey brothers. My parents actually retired  here in Bonita Springs, and we saw a need for a hockey store in the area as it was being under-serviced. …
“Having the Everblades here in town is a great thing. We have a lot of transplants from the north that have moved down here and love hockey and love the game,. The Everblades help new kids that grown up here in Florida, giving them the chance to play hockey and learn the game. Hockey is getting bigger, bigger and bigger down here.”
Roller hockey brand Tour also has a well, tour, of GCHP on YouTube, talking to Schilling as well.
Looking where to buy hockey gear on the Gulf Coast? Check out my tumblr post, which I will soon convert over to this blog.
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