West Marine grand opening set for Virginia Beach


West Marine recently announced plans to open its first Virginia flagship store in Virginia Beach and is accepting entries for its fifth annual Green Product of the Year Award.


The grand opening of the flagship store will be part of a weekend celebration Sept. 12-15 at Loehmann’s Plaza Shopping Center, 4000 Virginia Beach Blvd., in Virginia Beach just east of Pembroke, Va.

The celebration will begin Sept. 12 with a “Cruising for a Cause” charity night to support local marine-based non-profits, including the BoatUS Foundation, Norfolk Anglers, Catching for the Kids, Virginia Beach Anglers Club, Wish-A-Fish Foundation and the Great Bridge Fisherman’s Association.

The 23,000-square-foot flagship store is larger than three current West Marine locations in Norfolk and Virginia Beach combined.

“Here in Hampton Roads and across the country we are consolidating our smaller stores into large flagship stores to provide a wider selection of boating, fishing, paddling and watersports gear, apparel, footwear and accessories,” West Marine regional vice president Jim Abel said in a statement. “For instance, we will have 19,000 products in this new store, versus 8,000 in each of the locations that are closing.”

In other news, West Marine said it is accepting entries for its fifth annual Green Product of the Year Award from the entire United States, including the District of Columbia, as well as Puerto Rico and Canada (excluding the province of Quebec).

West Marine is hoping to promote green product development in the boating, fishing, sailing and watersports industries.

"We are proud to be launching our fifth annual Green Product of the Year contest. We want to encourage and support sustainable innovation in the marine industry," West Marine CEO Matt Hyde said in a statement.

Participants can see the complete rules and entry requirements and enter the contest by completing an entry form at westmarine.com/green between Aug. 12 and Nov. 22.


‘We’ve been working our butts off’

With his boatbuilding pedigree, 28-year-old Philip Faulkner launched Avid Boats in just six months. The startup has a facility, financial backing, boats on the line and big plans going forward.