Published Oct. 24, 2013
Custom canoe builder Merrimack Canoe Co. began renovations last week on a new storefront in Travelers Rest, with plans to open mid-December. The 3,800-square-foot space, located at 35 S. Main St., just off of the Swamp Rabbit Trail, will have large glass doors, a rustic modern feel and a path that leads directly to the trail.
“The doors will be able to open up, so on a nice day people can get a closer look at what’s happening inside,” said Merrimack Owner Andy O’Mara, who has tentative plans to relocate to Greenville after the opening. “We’re going to do our best to maximize the space and make it inviting from a viewing standpoint.”
The Crossville, Tenn.-based company closed on the building mid-August and will be retrofitting the old tire shop building to be both a showroom and workshop downtown. Merrimack Canoe Co. will set up shop just blocks away from outdoors outfitter Sunrift Adventures.
“We thought the area had a very active, outdoor-type community that appreciates craftsmanship,” said O’Mara. “Travelers Rest is kind of off the beaten path. We thought it was a great fit.”
The city’s proximity to outdoors activities, state parks and other destinations, along with its location right along the Swamp Rabbit Trail, have made it an outdoors hub of sorts for the Greenville area.
The city has used its outdoors access to brand itself as a jumping-off point, said Tripp Muldrow of downtown planning advisory company Arnett Muldrow & Associates at a recent Upstate officials meeting. “Anyone that’s going to the mountains from Greenville has to go through Travelers Rest,” he said. “There’s a much more outdoors feeling downtown.”