Tyler Meeks, center, owner of the new Discovery Bay Outdoor Exchange, celebrates his opening day with a ribbon-cutting Friday with members of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

New Discovery Bay shop owner hopes to make outdoor gear more affordable

DISCOVERY BAY — The North Olympic Peninsula is full of activities for outdoor enthusiasts and the owner of a new store in Discovery Bay is hoping to make accessing those activities easier with consignment gear and rentals.

Tyler Meeks opened his store, Discovery Bay Outdoor Exchange, on Friday. The store is located on U.S. Highway 101, just west of the intersection with state Highway 20, next to the Discovery Bay Village Store.

“This is created to be a community resource,” Meeks said. “It’s trying to provide affordable gear for outdoor lovers.”

The store will accept gear donations or consignment.

“Port Townsend and the Olympic Peninsula is just an active area,” Meeks said. “I know there is gear here, we’re just waiting to tap into it.”

Any gear can be donated but gear that owners hope to sell on consignment will be inspected and a price point will be negotiated, according to Meeks.

“We’ll look at the original price, the condition of the gear, and agree on something,” Meeks said. “We’re not looking to make a big profit on any of this.”

Once an item is sold, sellers can get their percentage of the sale in cash, check, via PayPal or in store credit, according to Meeks.

Currently Meeks is trying to collect inventory and will be willing to come to people to assess gear they’d like to get rid of if they can’t make it out to Discovery Bay.

Meeks said he is in need of footwear, such as hiking boots, as well as backpacks or daypacks and such basic backpacking gear as tents, sleeping bags and sleeping pads.

“Backpacking gear is something we want to provide,” Meeks said. “I’m assuming surfing and paddle boarding gear will trickle in as people upgrade through the season.”

As the store inventory grows, Meeks said he would like to be able to offer people trade for their gear and offer rentals for more expensive items such as wetsuits and paddleboards.

The store also will have last-minute essentials such as guidebooks for the local area.

“My target customer is 18 to 50, working class folks who can’t afford outdoor gear,” Meeks said. “As long as I can make it through the winter we’ll have a real presence next year.”

Meeks, originally from Iowa, moved to Port Townsend about two years ago from Colorado.

“I fell in love with the mountain there,” Meeks said.

He traveled overseas and started surfing before making his way to the Pacific Northwest.

“I was looking for a community to get involved in,” Meeks said, “and the Peninsula is just a recreational wonderland.”

Meeks was diagnosed with cancer shortly after getting to Port Townsend, but after surgery and chemotherapy at Jefferson Healthcare hospital in Port Townsend, he has been cancer-free for about a year.

“I’m eternally grateful to be here and to be alive,” Meeks said. “That’s kind of what this shop is about.”

The store has been fitted with shelves made of reclaimed wood and storage spaces Meeks created himself.

“I tried to repurpose everything as much as possible so everything in here was donated, reclaimed or made,” Meeks said.

The Discovery Bay Outdoor Exchange is located at 282332 U.S. Highway 101 and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for the summer. It will be closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but Meeks can be reached at 360-774-2114.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected].

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