Kyle Kwiatkowski

Area sports store closing its doors

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

An area sports shop that has served the area for over 20 years is closing its doors, but the current owners hope that it’s not for good.

LaSalle Sports Zone is closing at the end of March as current owners Glen and Mary O’Neil are retiring. The O’Neils say they have served many customers from LaSalle, Amherstburg and south Windsor and are Amherstburg residents themselves.

“We’re trying to retire for good,” said Glen, adding they hope to travel and golf more.

The couple, who used to work at the GM transmission plant in Windsor before going into business for themselves, said they opened in 1998 on Malden Road before moving a few years ago to their Sprucewood Dr. location.

“We want to retire and enjoy life,” said Mary. “It’s time for someone to take over who has contacts with the local athletic associations.”

Amherstburg residents Glen and Mary O’Neil are closing their store – the LaSalle Sports Zone – at the end of March.

They have someone who is showing interest and hope that person will be able to keep the business going.

The O’Neils said they have enjoyed working with the customers and have enjoyed meeting players, including young hockey players getting fitted for equipment for the first time. They state they even tell hockey parents who have never dressed their child before to stop by about an hour before they have to be at the rink so they can help get their young players ready.

“It’s more of a personal service,” said Mary.

“We do a lot of things the big box stores don’t do,” added Glen.

They have had such NHL players as Eric Wellwood and Taylor Hall stop by for autograph sessions over the years. Glen noted they have also employed numerous students from the Amherstburg and LaSalle areas over the years with two going on to become dentists and another student now being a lawyer.

Mary added they take pride in their skate sharpening and Glen adding loyal staff such as Louis Lamb have helped out with that over the years.

Glen said they will miss their loyal customers and that they have gotten to know a lot of them well.

“It’s a great job,” said Kyle Kwiatkowski, a Grade 12 student from Villanova. “It’s great if you play sports.”