TRAVERSE CITY — Dave and Lin Harvey have seen a lot in their 32 years in the sporting goods business.
The owners of Dave Harvey’s Athletic Supply, 901 S. Airport, witnessed hockey rinks in the Traverse City area come and go. They’ve watched lacrosse blossom as a sport in the Grand Traverse region, and the husband and wife faced the challenges of running a traditional retail operation as online sporting goods dealers invaded the market.
“Keeping a very tight rein on things, not trying to grow beyond our means, and staying within ourselves,” Dave Harvey said of the key to their business success. “All of that helped us persevere.”
“I watch the budget,” Lin Harvey chimed in. “I’m the penny pincher.”
Now the Harveys are nearing retirement after decades of selling sporting goods to individuals and teams with a focus on hockey equipment. The Harveys will pass the business puck to new owners Chris Street and Chad Helton, who purchased the business with plans to expand the outlet’s product line and continue the Harveys’ reputation for community-based customer service.
“We are going to expand some hours and expand some inventory,” Street said. “If we expand enough, we might bring someone on part-time to run the sales floor.”
Dave Harvey said he and his wife have had an enjoyable run. They moved to Traverse City in 1979 from Allen Park with Dave taking a job at a sporting equipment company called Sports World. He opened his own business a couple years later with a business partner, then took over ownership with his wife. Dave Harvey’s Athletic Supply originally opened at 1073 S. Airport Road, then moved to 975 W. South Airport Road before settling in at the current location.
Dave Harvey remembers when hockey was a “fledgling” sport in Traverse City and customers mostly purchased used skates -- used skates at that.