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THE ECONOMY:

Boater’s World going out of business

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Mona Shield Payne/Special to the Sun

Boater’s World, 470 N. Stephanie Street in Henderson, owned by Ritz Camera Centers, is going out of business along with all locations nationwide within 90 days as part of its bankruptcy reorganization.

Updated Saturday, March 21, 2009 | 8:03 p.m.

Boater's World closing

Jeff Whittle checks out the seating and boat motors during the liquidation sale Saturday at Boater's World, 470 N. Stephanie Street, in Henderson.  Boater's World, owned by Ritz Camera Centers, plans to close all stores nationwide within 90 days as part of its bankruptcy reorganization.
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Beyond the Sun

A retailer in Henderson is among the latest casualties of the U.S. recession.

A going-out-of business sale is under way at the Boater's World store at 470 N. Stephanie Street, south of Sunset Road.

A bankruptcy court judge in Delaware this week approved a plan for Boater's World to close its 129 stores around the country, including its lone Nevada store in Henderson.

The store in Henderson employs seven people, store manager Will Copple said Saturday. He said employees should know within a few weeks what day the store will close for good.

Boater's World is owned by Ritz Camera Centers Inc. Bloomberg News reported that a company attorney told the bankruptcy court that Ritz should collect $40 million from the going-out-of business sales at the 129 stores in 27 states.

A joint venture of Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Group is managing the liquidation. Those companies said items for sale include electronics, anchors, fishing rods, rain suits and athletic shoes; as well as store fixtures and equipment.

Beltsville, Md.-based Ritz filed for bankruptcy protection in February. It reported having about 800 camera and photo processing stores under the brand names Ritz Camera, Wolf Camera, Kits Cameras, Inkley's and The Camera Shops.

The photography business has been hurt hard by the switch from film to digital cameras, as well as the recession, Ritz said.

Ritz said that in order to diversify its business, it decided in the late 1980s to open the Boater's World chain.

"The Boater's World business proved to be a positive contributor to the company's profitability for a number of years, and generated positive cash flow through 2007. In the spring of 2008, however, the price of oil skyrocketed, leading to a sharp rise in the price of gas, and that in turn, with other macroeconomic factors, led to a sharp drop in the sales and profitability of the Boater's World business,'' Ritz said in its bankruptcy filing.

This is the second national outdoors-related retailer in Henderson that is closing because of the recession.

On March 10, Sportsman's Warehouse Holdings of Midvale, Utah, announced plans to close 23 stores around the country in order to reduce debt. Both stores in the Las Vegas area were on the closure list. They are at 5647 Centennial Center Parkway in northwest Las Vegas and at 390 W. Lake Mead Parkway in Henderson .

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