Pro Wake Surf Shop Celebrates Grand Opening With Ribbon Cutting –

Representatives from Pro Wake, the local Chamber of Commerce and other area businesses attended the grand opening of the Pro Wake Surf Shop on Friday March 25th. Front row from left: Renea Salyer, executive director of the Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce; Kristen Davis, Pro Wake employee; Mark and Patty Richards, owners; Gina Ebey and Mackenzie Richards, employees; Olga Glossett, RE/MAX Partners; and Rachell Hatfield, The Barn 3863. Middle row: Brittni Kuhn, Lake City Bank; Steve Fields, Chamber of Commerce Ambassador; Joshua Davis, Pro Wake Operations Manager; Katie Penrod and Katie Workman, employees; and Rita Roberts, RE/MAX. Back row: Mason Slabaugh, Tippy Lake Country Club, Chamber of Commerce Ambassador; Nick VanOsdol, employee; Kim Strawbridge, Bank of Lake City; Chris Scheeren, Blue Barn Berry Farm; and Dennis Pressler, chairman, chamber board. Photo by Ray Balogh.

By Ray Balogh

SYRACUSE – A large group of optimistic attendees on Friday afternoon, March 25, helped celebrate the grand opening of Pro Wake Surf Shop at 1309 S. Harkless Drive, Syracuse, in an indoor ribbon-cutting ceremony. The ceremony took place shortly before the doors opened to the public for the first time at 4 p.m.

The surf shop is Pro Wake Watersports’ second location, the first having opened in 2012 in North Webster by Mark Richards, then managing director and now co-owner, with his wife, Patty, of the business.

The surf shop sells a wide variety of apparel from boats to bars, surf gear and other surf-related items in its modern 2,200 square foot three-level store.

“This place is for the community,” Richards said. “Now they don’t have to go to Indy or Fort Wayne or Chicago to buy big name brands. There is nothing here that takes away from any company in this community. None of the brands we offer were previously marketed in this area. »

The former 13,000 square foot fitness center is also home to Pro Wake Design and Graphics. Its four new printers can produce custom skins for boats, trucks and cars; signs and banners; decals; and other items. “You name it, we can print it,” Richards said.

Also on site: a photography and videography studio, a marketing department and an educational exhibit sponsored by The Watershed Foundation.

The Surf Shop is currently open 9am-5pm Tuesday-Friday and 9am-3pm Saturday.

The idea for the store came from Patty during a trip to Florida. “She said to me: ‘You have to do something with the Syracuse site’ which I had rented for three years from Rinker (Watersports). “We need a mini Ron Jon surf shop.” And when my wife asks me to do something, I usually do it big.

Richards actually bought three adjacent lots in Syracuse and has big plans for the 30,000 square foot building north of the surf shop – and for the community he has never failed to visit every summer for 52 years, keeping his perfect attendance record intact even during the 25 years he lived in Florida.

“It’s time to make Syracuse a year-round destination,” he said. He believes his part in realizing that dream is to convert the building into an indoor recreational destination featuring a pair of flow riders (machines that simulate water conditions to enable stationary surfing), an arcade and a restaurant.

“It’s time to stop riding the streets in October,” Richards said. “There’s a lot of money here and it’s time to stop letting it go.” He recently shared his vision at the annual Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce dinner and said he received “an incredible response. Everyone agrees with that.

His schedule is as ambitious as his project. “It would be nice to pull that off in 18 to 24 months.”

For more information, call (574) 337-1898.

This article will also appear in Wednesday, March 30, Le Mail-Journal.

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