Big 5 lease may save Y Factory Stores

By Kathryn Reed

With the Factory Stores at the Y signing a multi-year lease agreement with Big 5 Sporting Goods, the South Lake Tahoe center may be able to find solid financial ground.

“I’m still in negotiations with the bank and trying to get a loan modification. Certainly the Big 5 lease helps me. But nothing has been settled yet,” Shannon Casteel told Lake Tahoe News.

big 5Casteel and her sister Nancy Irmer bought the center in 2004 from their brother Gary Casteel. Since Irmer’s death her family and Shannon Casteel have operated the center.

As reported last month by Lake Tahoe News, the center that is located on one of the four corners of the Y, was about to be auctioned off. That did not happen. Casteel is trying to save her business.

Casteel said she has been talking to Big 5 for five years about moving in. All the hurdles were cleared and the retailer already has keys to the building. They will be taking over the old Adidas spot.

“They are hoping to open before Memorial Day,” Casteel said.

Calls to Big 5 headquarters in El Segundo were not returned. Other Big 5 stores in the area are in Minden, Carson City, Placerville, Reno and Sparks.

City Manager Nancy Kerry told Lake Tahoe News she got word March 6 that Big 5 is coming to town.

“It is very exciting news. I understand they will have a job fair in the next couple weeks,” she said.

How many employees will be hired is not known.

While the Adidas store was not one of the top 25 sales tax generators in South Lake Tahoe, Kerry anticipates Big 5 being able to bring in the kind of numbers that would put it in the company of Grocery Outlet, DIY, Ross and Fresh Ketch. Those are some of the top 25 sales tax producers.

Sales, property and hotel taxes are the three main revenue sources for the city.

Kerry said when she got wind Big 5 was looking seriously at South Lake Tahoe she reached out to the company to see how the city could help.

“We are definitely doing everything we can to encourage retail. We don’t want to be a roadblock to them,” Kerry said.

On the April 2 City Council agenda will be an item to waive special use permit fees. Right now a prospective business may have to pay thousands of dollars to determine if the location they want to operate at falls within the parameters of the city’s rulebook. Even if it doesn’t, the fee, per today’s policy, must be paid.

Casteel is also in negotiations with other potential renters.

“I can’t say who because we have not signed the lease,” Casteel said. “I have another major tenant that I am negotiating with right now. They would take the area from (the Big 5) store toward where Great Outdoors was.”

She also said people are interested in renting the storefront on the corner closest to Emerald Bay Road.

The Big 5 lease is for five years, with an option for 20.


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Comments (29)
  1. 30yrlocal says - Posted: March 7, 2013

    Great news! The Y with new stores and opportunities is great for South Lake Tahoe! New owners at Classic Cue have really upgraded that spot and made it very family friendly, TJ Maxx offers lots of shopping choices, a new gas station at Raleys, great sandwiches at Beach Hut…now new shops at the Factory Stores will be a big boost! Hope more follows and things get fancied up.

  2. reza says - Posted: March 7, 2013

    Uhhhhh, what about Sports LTD, the Village, Shoreline and the other small independent shops ? Waive the fee to help harm long time locals business?

    Why not waive the fee for the concert production company at Lakeview Commons. Stop the hypocrisy. Either charge fees to all or waive fees to anyone who helps the local economy.

    Are you going to waive the fees for the Owens Financial project at the “Hole” too?

  3. "HangUpsFromWayBack" says - Posted: March 7, 2013

    Up the fees at Sports LTD,THAT’S FOR THEIR NO RETUTN POLICY on defected mechanised.
    Forget the village, go to the y stores where the core of locals shop at.

  4. Bijou Bill says - Posted: March 7, 2013

    In response to reza’s query about fees and the fates of homegrown locally owned ventures that make a town unique… You’re about to be Walmarted!

  5. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: March 7, 2013

    Great to see some activity at the Y! Grass roots in their new location is excellent.
    Over at the Factory stores I’m glad Big 5 is comin’ in. I hope the other empty spots get filled in as well. A book store? A record store? Gardening center? Anything? Just a few thoughts, Old long Skiis

  6. A.B. says - Posted: March 7, 2013

    The Factory Stores is an EXCELLENT location, but I sincerely doubt that Big 5 will locate there in any short duration of time.

    It’s a somewhat sad commnetary on SLT that this property is in a state of disarray. Such a tremendous location.

  7. DougM says - Posted: March 7, 2013

    While the outlet stores at the Y weren’t a core draw to tourists, it was significant icing on the cake. I used to save all my sports gear (clothng & shoes at least) shopping for visits to the Addidas shop, and visits here. My wife and her friends always included a stop at the Y when in town. Not sure Big 5 will qualify as a “discount outlet”, but their normal lower prices may have the same effect. Frankly, anyone willing to occupy Ghost Corner should be encouraged by any means possible.

  8. Court Diva says - Posted: March 7, 2013

    Great news….Big 5 @ the Y. Gives Sports LTD much needed competition….their prices are too high and poor selection of all around sports equipment,clothing, etc.

  9. Marsha Draper says - Posted: March 8, 2013

    I really can’t understand why some people would prefer to have empty, neglected storefronts in order to “protect” long-time locally owned businesses. Empty storefronts don’t help ANYONE. I remember the fights over DIY. I shop there, and I also shop at Scotty’s and Meek’s. The more we have here, the less I have to go down the hill to Carson.

  10. John says - Posted: March 8, 2013

    Marsha, think through the next step.
    1) There is an empty storefront
    2) Big 5 comes to town fills empty storefront,
    3) Local businesses cant compete and close
    4) there is an empty storefront, maybe several

    It is not likely that Big 5 is going to be without impact in town. The winner in this, probably the consumers. Big 5 is able to deliver more goods at a lower price, so all things equal, there is a net economic benefit to consumers. But that is not without costs also.

    This is the Walmart debate in a small scale. Walmart has offers lowere priced goods in economically depressed areas and impoverished people can purchase more with their limited dollars. Local businesses also close and downtowns across America had to reinvent themselves. This is not simple.

  11. Coach Beef says - Posted: March 8, 2013

    Im all for Big 5 taking a swing here in South Lake Tahoe. Im also expecting my store, The Sportsman, will continue to be open. I hope locals will continue to see us for their fishing, baseball, camping, winter sports, and team sports needs. My family, Shehadi, and my partners family, Sweeney, have always been there for South Lake Tahoe.
    Why would our city give them an unfair advantage by waiving fees? Their merchandise is not unique to SLT, yet their buying power gives them an advantage over the indepentently owned stores. To give them more is wrong!
    Do you think big 5 will donate like we do? Will they do clinics for our little leaguers? Will they sell to our high school programs at little or no proffit? These are all things we do and have done at The Sportsman. Remember that when choosing which store to shop.

  12. fromform says - Posted: March 8, 2013

    i am all for new business in slt. however, does not this ‘waiver of fees’ (thousands of dollars) offer by our ‘leaders’ open the city (taxpayers)to legal exposure from o.g. businesses that have paid these fees? more low hanging fruit supporting the argument that the city council continues to wallow in incompetance…

  13. John says - Posted: March 8, 2013

    This is a very accessible article on economic development incentives.

    This is probably more to the point. Deciding whether a set of incentives is justified or even likely to result in economic growth is complex. I dont know the answer as to whether offering an incentive is justified in this case. First we have to define the markets served by Big 5, how those markets are served by existing businesses and finally determining if there are underserved markets that the new business can exploit. If the new business isnt expoiting new markets then likely there is just going to be a shift in employment and tax base.

    Think about it, Sports LTD already left that area presumably because it wasnt profitable.

    I would bet my new skis that this work has not been done. If it hasnt been done then the incentive cant be justified.

  14. reza says - Posted: March 8, 2013

    Lets see what the self-proclaimed champion for the small businessman has to say. Joanne Conner, what say you?

  15. Bijou Bill says - Posted: March 8, 2013

    Let’s not pretend that economic theories are somehow made more sciency and therefore valid by adding somebody’s cherry picked math stats about hypothetical markets..
    Coach Beef has a much more legitimate point of view as far as Local business is concerned.
    I think that Big 5 might be the camel’s nose under the tent for the big boys to claim the market beyond just sporting goods.
    After all, it’s all about commerce, Right?

  16. John says - Posted: March 8, 2013

    Bijou, look you have made it clear you distrust anything that requires an education. But that doesnt make market analysis a fundamentally flawed endeavor. You could probably get a pretty accurate picture of the size of the new ski equipment market just by calling and asking the stores who sell it. But there are also trade associations and producers who have the same information. Thats just an example, producing a quality product takes some leg work but its not that hard.

    Bijou I do agree with Coach beef about providing an economic incentive to a business that will be entering a market that is already served. Frankly I dont think any business should get any incentive ever. But I also want to do away with the morgage interest deduction, so I am probably not the person to ask.

  17. Aaron says - Posted: March 8, 2013

    Coach Beef, I hear Big 5 is handing out chocolate chip cookies on opening day. :)

    I also think you made some very valid points. Thanks.

  18. tahoeadvocate says - Posted: March 8, 2013

    Let’s see, we charge business a fee to see if they should set up shop then we make them pay a business license fee every year, plus a francise tax fee so they can collect sales taxes for us at no cost to us.

    Sure sounds like a way to attract people who create jobs so residents can earn a living and pay taxes.

  19. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: March 8, 2013

    Coach Beef, I recently bought a few lures and a slingshot from your fine store. The slingshot is for my “bear aversion strategy”(rocks for ammo) in my neighborhood come this spring.
    The fish have nothing to fear from me or the lures I bought as I can’t catch **** !!!
    I’ve shopped locally for a good many years and will to continue to do so. Personally, I don’t think Big 5 will hurt your business or any others.
    I just want to see all these empty buildings along 50 filled up with new businesses and customers, locals and visitors alike.
    Walk into a store or resturaunt a few times and the folks that work there recognize you and give you a small “locals discount” and that place has a long time customer who will in turn recommend that place to friends and neighbors.
    Just a few thoughts,OLS

  20. Biggerpicture says - Posted: March 8, 2013

    I’m a free market liberal. That means I’m just over the poverty level, and want the best prices I can find without driving off the hill.

    Welcome Big 5!

  21. tahoeadvocate says - Posted: March 8, 2013

    Throughout the comments for this article as well as many others, the dichotomies of South Lake Tahoe become apparent.
    On one hand we want to be a small mountain village which enjoys being the benefits being isolated from the big city hustle and bustle and having friends and neighbors running the businesses.
    On the other hand we want things to cost less in our local businesses which in today’s world is mainly supported by the larger corporations who can buy in bulk.

    We want the solice of the lake and mountains but we want the tourists to come and spend their money without disturbing us “locals”.

    We want the tourists to come and gamble but we don’t want them to smoke in the casinos.

    We want high paying jobs but want our living costs (eating out, etc.) to be low.

    We have many ideas how others should spend their money developing property in town but how many really keep their own property in to condition?

    Lead by example and hopefully others will follow.

  22. John says - Posted: March 8, 2013

    OLS, you may not “think” big 5 will hurt his business, but you have absolutely no reason to think that. Lets do a little experiment. Come up with a percentage for the locals discount you imagine. Now take that part of your yearly income and throw it into your fireplace and burn it.

    Did that hurt?

  23. Miss Frugal says - Posted: March 8, 2013

    Woo hoo, that’s great news. Y side of town SO needs a decent sporting goods store. I do think that if people are worried that Big 5 will hurt other, similar businesses in this town, they forget that lots of us drive to Carson City to get things that only Big 5 carries. Once we are over there, we buy most of what we need in those stores. It will help with MY business, because it’s one less reason to go to Carson City to shop.

  24. Gail Kolb says - Posted: March 8, 2013

    I wanted to buy a specific outdoor game a couple years ago (Ladder Ball), and my only choices were on line or a Big 5. Doesn’t mean we all won’t still shop for the best price, no matter the sign on the building.

  25. Steve says - Posted: March 8, 2013

    Big 5 is like the Thrifty Drug Store of sporting goods retailers. Remember what was in that exact spot 35 years ago? It would be great if we have come full circle, if so great times await just ahead.

  26. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: March 8, 2013

    tahoeadvocate and also John,
    Advocate you bring up several good points. Quiet mountain community with a thriving business climate and good paying jobs? Very challenging to say the least. Can it be done? Lets hope so!
    I liked your last sentence in regards to caring for ones property,”Lead by example and hopefully others will follow”. It’s contagious. One person starts raking up pine needles and pretty soon everyone on the street is doing the same. One person paints their house and gets rid of some clutter in the front yard and the neighbors do the same with their homes. Soon things are looking pretty good!

    John, my neighbor Susi was over earlier and she was telling me how she and her husband went to a restaurant down the street. Upon getting the bill they noticed $2.00 was takin’ off the bill. The waiter explained, “locals discount”. Two bucks?. Sure, not a big deal but it made them happy and they’ll be goin’ back! Did 2 bucks make a big difference to the owner of the restaurant or my good neighbors? Probably not. It was the
    “‘ gesture” of cutting a few bucks back on the bill and being recognized as regular customers that they liked.
    Creating a good relationship between business owner, staff and the customer is crucial to success and a good experience for everyone involved. OLS

  27. Bob says - Posted: March 8, 2013

    I always thought a major restaurant chain would do good where Adidas was located. It would also bring in more shoppers to the Factory Stores location. Regarding other local sports related stores losing business to Big 5 – have you ever heard of the word competition? It’s what made America great.

  28. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: March 8, 2013

    I agree, Big Five is like the Thrifty Drug Store of sporting goods. I just want to see that shopping center full again. If Big 5 can fill the spot , more power to them. I hope they’re succseful and stick around.
    You’ve got me stumped tho, I do not remember what was in that location there 35 years ago… Just a hint?
    The best sporting goods store, of all time, on So. Shore was The Outdoorsman! They had everything and anything. I’ve still got a Grumman canoe that I bought there in 1974(?) and a North Face tent a few years later. Neither leak and are still in use to this day.
    When you think about it, the sporting goods stores are evenly spread thru town. If we want to promote all forms of recreation here in SLT, the more sports stores the better. Take Care, Old Long Skiis

  29. robert greer says - Posted: March 28, 2013

    big 5 they no longer sell skis, bindings or ski boots, just ski accessories. Why did they stop selling actual ski stuff?