Ellie Nakamoto-White reports.

RICHLAND, Wash. — If you’ve picked up a paddle and hit the water any time over the last eight years, chances are it was thanks to Northwest Paddleboarding.

The family-owned Richland staple has helped the Tri-Cities community explore the area’s rivers for almost a decade — opening its storefront by Howard Amon Park about five years ago.

But now, it’s the end of an era as the store is gearing up to close its doors by the end of September.

Co-Owner Krista Patterson said the decision is bittersweet.

“We’re just ready for a new chapter,” Patterson said, adding that her husband and mother also work at the store. “We’re still in the decision-making process of what the future looks like for us. We just know that we’re ready to be done with the storefront.”

Patterson cited several factors for the change, including the COVID-19 pandemic, being seasonal and dictated by the weather, and the City of Richland.

“Running a small business is hard,” Patterson said. “I feel like my mom and I were a huge part in bringing paddleboarding to the Tri-Cities.”

That sentiment is true for the dozens of residents who commented their support on a Northwest Paddleboarding Facebook post that announced the upcoming closure.

“I appreciate everybody who has supported us and came to classes and rented and purchased equipment from us and I hope you still support and keep following,” Patterson said. “It’s fun and we absolutely enjoy putting people on the water and that has not changed.”

Patterson added that she wanted her customers to know she’s thankful for the memories they were able to share.

“I think a lot of the times when small businesses close, they’re not able to keep going and sometimes the community feels bad like maybe they didn’t give enough support,” Patterson said. “We’re not failing out, we’re just deciding to change… People are loving it and enjoying our rivers in that way and I love that we had the opportunity to be able to do that.”

Northwest Paddleboarding will remain open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through the month of August.

Patterson said the storefront will be closed by the end of September, although the hours are still unclear.


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