After nearly 30 years of business in Carson City, Fleet Feet closed unexpectedly this week.
The now-empty store at 3246 N. Carson St. has no signs notifying customers of the closure. Owners Scott and Joy Keith were unavailable for comment.
The Carrboro, N.C.-based franchise is known for its "fitlosophy" of helping customers find the right fit in a running shoe, apparel and sports bras.
The Carson City store was also involved in community running events, ranging from the annual Nevada Day Classic to a winter race series as well as training programs.
"It was the place kids came to buy their letterman's jackets. It's where kids bought their first pair of sports shoes, whether it be running shoes or cleats," said Tim Tetz, who owned the store from 1998 until 2007, when he sold to the Keiths. "It's where people came to get into shape. It's where they came to reward themselves for staying in shape."
Tom Wion, who resigned as the store's general manager a month ago, coordinated many of the events. As the vice president of the Sagebrush Stompers, he said the running club will continue to host all races, including the annual Nevada Day run and the Escape From Prison Hill half marathon.
"All the regular events will happen," he said.
Kevin and Tammie Bigley, owners of Ascent Physical Therapy in Carson City, may take over some of the other events such as the winter race series and training programs.
"The winter race series was a great way for runners to stay motivated through the winter season, which is tough around here," Kevin Bigley said. "We still have to work out a lot of the details, but once we get over a couple of major hurdles, like insurance, we will start publicizing the dates."
Tetz began working at the store in 1987 for then-owner Butch Cattanach, who started the business in May of 1980 with fellow schoolteachers Jim Frank and Mike Spell. He said people traveled from as far away as Bishop and north of Susanville to shop for athletic gear.
"It was not unheard of for folks to fall in love with the level of service we offered," Tetz said. "That's what set us apart."
Tetz said the loss will leave a hole in the community.
"It may be months or years before we see the full implications," he said. "There are a tremendous amount of people who are going to be showing up for their next pair of shoes or to find out about the next race. It's a tough scenario."