Saying "the adventure is over," Lee's is shutting down after 65 years in Portage. 

Since 1955, when you needed gear for outdoor sports, camping, skiing, paddling, or advice on just about anything related to your adventures, Lee's was the place to go. In my experience, the people and their advice, expertise and recommendations were as valuable as the top-rated brands Lee's stocked.

Store owner and operator Skip Lee told MLive in a phone call Saturday that COVID-19 'plays a part' in the store’s closure, although the closure results from a “larger number of things," he said. He did not elaborate.

Calling it a "retirement sale," nearly everything in the store is discounted right now, and the plan is to close the doors on an empty building toward the end of July. Shoppers lined up outside the store on Sunday, June 1, socially-distanced by rocks placed 6 feet apart leading to the store entrance. The number of customers inside the store at one time was limited.

Adventurous types can also shop leesadventuresports.com for men's, women's and children's brand name clothing like Patagonia and North Face, and Merrell and Keen footwear. A wide selection of camping gear was a regular feature at Lee's, including tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, hammocks, cooking gear and more. Lee's specialized in Winter sports gear, like downhill and cross-country skis, snowboards, snowshoes and the clothing to make it safe and enjoyable. Kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards are what Lee's offered for fun on the water.

That's it, really, that was their specialty: Lee's sold a lot of products, but what they really sold was the fun of an active lifestyle in the Kalamazoo area. They knew what kind of watercraft to steer you toward if you planned on paddling the Kalamazoo River or Lake Michigan. They knew entry-level gear and what you needed to step up your skills. Many of their staff also knew the best places to go for an adventure and were happy to help you get there.

We're wishing them the best in whatever is next on their journey.

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It's with a heavy heart we are announcing that after 65 years, Lee's will be closing the doors permanently toward the...

Posted by Lee's Adventure Sports on Saturday, May 30, 2020