Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from around the tri-state area. This week, we highlight developments in Dubuque, Galena, Ill., and Cassville, Wis.
A new owner with local ties is taking the reins at the largest employer in Jo Daviess County.
Mark Klausner recently became the owner of Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa in The Galena Territory.
Klausner moved to The Galena Territory with his wife and children 20 years ago.
Owning a resort will represent a new endeavor for Klausner, who once served as president of Universal Tank & Fabrication in Dubuque.
He said the Eagle Ridge move is a “dynamic opportunity.”
“There is such variety of businesses and offerings, between the golf courses, the restaurants, the general store, the spa and the catering,” he said.
Klausner estimated that the business employs about 300 people at its seasonal peak. Company officials said this makes the resort and spa the largest employer in Jo Daviess County.
Eagle Ridge previously was owned by a California firm.
“I think the difference in having local ownership is that we will take the profits and reinvest them back into the business to make this an even greater place,” Klausner said.
He emphasized that he wants to “keep as much of the business local as possible” by working with local vendors, financial firms, insurance providers and others.
Visitors to Eagle Ridge will not notice any significant changes immediately. However, Klausner intends to roll out new programs and upgrade the property.
Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa can be reached at 800-892-2269.
HARDWARE STORE OPENS
Cassville has a hardware store once again.
Great River Hardware Hank opened its doors at 202 E. Amelia St. late last month. Even before welcoming its first customers, the community’s optimism was palpable, according to owner Lon Spooner.
“While we were doing the construction, I think just about every person in town stopped in and wanted to know about when we were going to open,” Spooner recalled. “Business has been really good since we opened.”
Spooner previously lived in Chicago and worked in the printing industry. He purchased a second home in Cassville in 2003 and permanently moved to the city of about 950 people in 2008.
About seven years later, he opened Great River Sportsman, a sporting goods store that continues to operate at 113 E. Amelia St.
Spooner’s latest business venture aims to fill a void in Cassville.
He said the small community once boasted two hardware stores. A couple of years ago, the last remaining store closed its doors.
Sensing the need for that type of business, Spooner decided to open his own.
Spooner believes he is well-positioned — literally — to succeed where others have failed.
“I felt that poor location was partially to blame for the woes of the other (hardware) businesses,” he said. “They were a little off the beaten path. I felt that if a hardware store was going to be successful, it would have to be right along the main street.”
Spooner said he has eight employees between his hardware and sporting goods stores, all of whom log hours at both locations.
Great River Hardware Hank is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Sunday. The store can be reached at 608-579-0770.
NUTRITION STORE MOVES
A nutrition store providing vitamins and supplements recently moved to a new Dubuque location.
Suppz Nutrition Store relocated to 3500 Dodge St. on March 1. The business previously operated at
3339 Hillcrest Road.
“I think this is a better location altogether,” said Brenda Forsyth. “This has given us more foot traffic, and we think it is more convenient for the customer.”
Forsyth, who owns the business with Brent Sheckler, said Suppz offers a wide variety of products, including supplements, daily vitamins, proteins, energy drinks and healthy meals.
Contrary to popular belief, the customer base is not exclusively athletes.
“We see all walks of life and all age groups,” Forsyth said.
Suppz Nutrition store has four staff members. It is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days per week. The business can be reached at 563-582-5741.