Tom Wohrman Sports closing shop on July 25
After two years in South Lake Tahoe and 27 years overall in business, sports shop owner Tom Wohrman has decided to retire, close up shop and hit the ski slopes in Big Bear Lake.
“I need to slow way down so I can enjoy life,” Wohrman, 64, said. “Whatever life we have left there’s no guarantee in it so for me it’s about enjoying it.”
Wohrman’s specialty is snow-related sports and custom ski boots and stand-up paddle boards and merchandise in the summer season.
His last day is July 25, but his shop at 2634 Lake Tahoe Blvd. was almost bare bones on Thursday with much of his inventory having been sold off.
“I’ll be doing custom ski boot fits right up to the end,” Wohrman said.
What inventory Worhman has left that hasn’t sold will go into storage and either be sold on eBay.
Prior to opening his shop in South Lake Tahoe, Wohrman operated in Mammoth, where he operated since 1988 prior to relocating in 2013.
“The positive thing is that I won’t have work seven days a week any more,” Wohrman said.
His retirement goals, he said, might include working one or two days a week for someone else. The rest of the time, he added, he can kick back and relax.
“I have a few friends who own shops that might need my help, and the rest of the time I’ll going skiing during the winter and paddle surf and kayaking on Big Bear Lake.”
Wohrman said business has been great during the winter ski seasons.
“I did real well here so I have no complaints,” Wohrman said. “It’s a resort town just like Mammoth.”
Even when business did get tough following the winter season, he’s adapted over the last few months by selling rolls of toilet paper at discount prices.
“After the season ended, things slowed way down and everyone felt the crunch, including myself,” Worhman said.
He joked in the past that the it symbolized his way of wiping out what had been a bad winter for many business owners.
While South Lake Tahoe has been a great town that has been supportive of his shop, Worhman concerns and problems with the city has been an issue.
He said Mammoth and South Lake Tahoe shared similar traits.
“The issues are always complicated by those running the town and they’re not listening whatever the business owners want,” Wohrman said. “Like I keep telling them, get out in the community and talk to business owners and see how you can help them.”
Wohrman has been an outspoken critic of some city policies, including display and sign ordinances he had called stifling for businesses. He has advocated that the city should find a way to lend or grant money so that they can spruce up Lake Tahoe Boulevard.
Shawna Brekke-Read, South Lake Tahoe’s development services manager, said in an email Thursday that the city does conduct outreach.
“The City typically conducts outreach before substantively changing its regulations or introducing a new program, including a public workshop,” Brekke-Read said. “In the case of outdoor display, the City sent notices to all of the retail businesses in the City’s database about the workshop and also conducted an online survey to solicit feedback from business owners and community members.”
While Worhman said he has his concerns with the city, he will miss the people, especially those who have helped him and referred business to him.
“That’s been fantastic and I’ll miss that side of it,’ Wohrman said.
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