Business & economy

Ontario hobby shop closing in 2024

ONTARIO – An Ontario hobby shop will close early next year.

Christine Hood, owner of Oregon Trail Hobbies & Gifts in downtown Ontario, said in a Facebook post that a divorce from her husband of nearly 25 years prompted the closure of the eclectic store at 272 Oregon St. The last day of business will be Feb. 29.

Hood, who graduated from Ontario High School in 1999, took over the business in 2021. She had occasionally worked at the store before taking ownership of the business.

Founded in 1984 by Dale and Cheryl Cruson, the store was initially named Hobbie Horizons and supplied fans of radio-controlled cars and planes.

Hood said nearly all of the store’s inventory will be on sale at cost over the next couple of months so she can recoup her initial investment before shuttering the business.

“It’s going to move fast,” she said. “Every piece of stock, every fixture, every shelf, all that’s coming up.”

Hood said her two part-time employees – Chris Plummer and Rita Piercy – have been instrumental over the last two years.

“Without them, I would have been lost,” she said.

Hood said the decision to close the store was “devastating” but necessary given her situation.

“I have absolutely loved being part of this community,” I love my employees. I love my customers. Unfortunately, this is the way that it has to be. I hope to leave a lasting positive impression as I step out.”

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