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Next Adventure to build off of Scappoose Bay Kayakings model


Portland-based recreation retailer expected to stock high-quality gear at Scappoose Bay shop

by: SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: ROBIN JOHNSON - Steve Gibons, co-owner of Scappoose Bay Kayaking, identifies a variety of birds as he paddles through Scappoose Bay. Deek Heykamp, co-owner of Next Adventure, said after merging with Scappoose Bay Kayaking, the companys main priority will be to absorb Gibons knowledge of local history and ecology. Scappoose Bay Kayaking disclosed Tuesday, July 30, it is selling its 12-year-old company to Next Adventure, a popular outdoor recreation retail store in Portland.

Scappoose Bay Kayaking will officially merge with Next Adventure Sept. 1.

Deek Heykamp, co-owner of Next Adventure, said he is excited to bring Portland customers out to Columbia County and start conversations with community stakeholders.

“Until we were able to merge with Scappoose Bay Kayaking, we were missing a link,” Heykamp said. “To have an on-water location really makes our business a complete package. Scappoose Bay is an unbelievably unique place, offering kayaking for all levels.”

Heykamp said Next Adventure has always been a very community-based store, noting the new RV park adjacent to Scappoose Bay Kayaking as a benefactor to the company’s commitment to holding community events within the county.

Heykamp added that he hopes to bolster the county’s access to high-quality gear.

“We also feel that it’s an area that’s underserved in the general outdoor gear category,” he said. “You have Longview, [Wash.] and Portland, and almost nothing in between. All my research shows that there’s not a great deal of sporting gear close. We want to increase the offering in camping and fishing.”

Heykamp said, on top of bringing Portland residents out and offering high-quality gear to Columbia County, he is excited to partner with local businesses. “At this point, we have ideas, but no plans,” he said. “Steve and Bonnie Gibons [owners of Scappoose Bay Kayaking] have great contacts they’re willing to share with us.”

Asked whether Next Adventure had purchased other such locations outside of Portland, Heykamp responded, “This is the first time. We’ve acquired little things here and there, but this is an acquisition of passion. It really is a merger. Their passion will live on with what we’re able to do. [Steve and Bonnie will] still be a fixture of the business.”

Heykamp said that Next Adventure’s goal is not to open multiple locations throughout the state; rather, he said, “Our business plan is to be absolutely the best that we can be.”

One aspect of the merger Heykamp stressed was, despite the change of ownership, the company will remain relatively the same. Rather than changing the business, Heykamp said, Next Adventure will move forward with the current business model. “We’ll extend rental and tours,” he said, “We want to continue to build on what Steve and Bonnie have built over all those years.”

Heykamp said he’s also planning a two- to three-day kayaking trip from Portland to Scappoose Bay for the “passing of the torch” in early September.

“It’ll be at least 10 hours of paddling, so we might be able to do it in two days,” he said, “Our staff is quite excited about it.”