I saw the “Going out of business” signs in the windows of HobbyTown USA. That’s two full-time jobs and five part-time jobs lost. That’s money and taxes that won’t circulate in Cheyenne. But the numbers don’t begin to tell the full story.

Cooper, Townsquare Media
Cooper, Townsquare Media

Hobbies are a way of connecting people. My dad and I designed, built and flew a unique box kite. I learned a lot with a chemistry kit that my oldest brother and I played with. The confidence I got as a young boy building with first, a bird house with popsicle sticks and then using toothpicks and craft paper, I built a small plane and learned about structural integrity, design and patience.

With my Erector Set with the motors, wheels, gears, girders battery connections, switches and my own imagination, I learned a lot and gained the confidence to move on to bigger projects. Model cars and trains led to remote control cars and planes and a host of projects that I could not have done without radio shack. And then I moved on to building mini bikes and go-carts and then working on cars with my buddies. Eventually, I ended up remodeling a couple of houses and figured out landscaping. It all started, with hobbies.

Hobbies are about growth and relationships. It meant family time together, that I will always treasure. It meant taking on new projects with confidence. It meant meeting people with similar interests, getting fresh air with remote control cars and airplanes.

Now Cheyenne is losing it’s HobbyTown USA at 5220 Rue Terre because there have not been enough sales to support the store.  On Sunday, Joe said they will close their doors on Sept. 22. Five part-timers and one other full-timer will lose their jobs. Joe will transfer to the Fort Collins, Colorado store.

Colorado has eight HobbyTown locations, Nebraska has five, Idaho has two. Wyoming will soon have zero. I think that is truly sad.

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