Indian Valley Scuba’s St. Louis dive center is getting ready for a Memorial Day Grand Opening!
Charles St. Amant spent the last week in Harleysville working with the staff and getting his final training completed before he and his wife Cherie open their doors at IVS-St. Louis later this month. Charles worked with Indian Valley Scuba’s IT-guru Csaba Lorinczy putting the final touches on his POS system, completed the design and pre-build of his gas filling & blending system with Bob Stitzinger, and worked through the last details of retail and training inventory with Bev Loggins. An amazingly busy week, but super productive!
This weekend we find Rich Peterson, Ray Graff, Bob Stitzinger and myself headed west for our 14 hour, 900 mile drive to the Kennerly Street store location. Our mission: to complete the final build-out and fit-out of the store with Charles & Cherie. Packed in the trucks with us were the gas compressor, cascade bottles, fill system, retail displays, service tools and retail inventory that in just a few short days will transform an empty storefront into a fully operating dive center, ready to serve the needs of the St. Louis market.
Charles has already secured exclusive contracts with three area YMCA’s and class registrations are coming in daily. The first open water classes will start in early June, and run monthly after that. Of course each class will have the opportunity to join IVS in Key Largo for their checkouts, or head out for a weekend at Mermet Springs, just a short ride east from the shop.
So after a thirteen hour ride, we arrive in St. Louis all fired up and ready to go! Charles opens up and we begin unloading, tanks, compressor, fixtures, furniture and everything else needed to turn an empty space into a dive center! Rich, Bob, Ray & Dave put in a solid 14 hour day, knocking off just in time to secure some local quality cigars and wines, and gather around the pool for a thorough debriefing! Meanwhile while the crew relaxed, Keri Stinchcomb spent a few hours in the shop working to restore the luster to the floors and tiles, and her work was shining bright by the end of the night.
Tuesday morning dawns bright & blue for the crew, and after a well-deserved nights rest, we head over to the jobsite early! Well most of the crew, that is, with slowpoke Rich nursing the post-wine affect from the evening before! Today IVS-St. Louis Divemaster Mike Landers joined the crew and we kicked butt all day, finishing the compressor installation & gas filling system, building cabinets, desktops, counters, workbenches, storage racks -you name it, it got built today! By the end of another long day the store was ready to be filled with product, and Charles & Cherie will spend the next week putting the finishing touches on the set up and inventory. The Harleysville gang packed up their tools and trucks, and made the long journey back east.
We’re all excited about bringing the IVS magic to the St. Louis area, and watching Team IVS grow in the midwest. The official opening is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, and from there it should be nothing but upward and onward for this latest addition to the IVS family.