This month we’re welcoming Gene Hildebrand and Dawn Masters, the new owners of Glory Hole Sports. They officially took over from Dan and Melanie Lewis on March 1, but the process was a good two years in the making. From his home in Los Angeles county, Gene says he had been looking all over the western US for a good business opportunity in the outdoor recreation market. “I wanted a business that was tied to recreation but was more than just a convenience store,” says Gene. The day he walked in and saw aisle after aisle of specialized fishing products, he knew this could be the place. Gene and Dawn also like the fact that Angels Camp is a town that doesn’t just rely on seasonal tourism, with Highway 49 providing a steady year round flow of traffic. They made several visits over the two-year period, making sure to come in May for Frog Jump so they could see what the busy time was like.
Dawn says that in addition to the store having a special feel about it, they really felt a connection to the area and its strong sense of community. With her background as a paralegal and Gene’s 30+ years as a general contractor, they should be well suited to handle the challenges of running a dynamic business like Glory Hole Sports. Plans include ramping up the deli menu with smoked meats (tri-tip will definitely stay on the menu), some light remodeling, and continuing to be a key resource for water conditions and fishing reports.
With the recent rains, Gene and Dawn have seen lots of enthusiasm for the spring boating and fishing season, business is brisk with people stopping in to greet the new owners and check in with the knowledgeable staff, all of whom have stayed on with the ownership change. We are happy to have them on board as CVB members and wish them all the best! Come see them on April 23 for their re-grand opening party; they’ll have fishing guides and fly-tying specialists on hand, a raffle with some great wins, and plenty of barbecue.