Billings Gazette, Mont., Have You Heard column
Feb 03, 2013 (Billings Gazette - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
After four years of selling fly fishing gear at the Plaza 24 mini-mall on 24th St. W., Richard Romersa and his wife, Lori, are moving their shop five blocks north.
On Feb. 25, East Rosebud Fly & Tackle will move to 1314 24th St. W., into the Thompson Pools & Spas mini-mall just south of the corner of 24th and Grand Avenue.
"This is hugely exciting for me. We opened this shop when a lot of people in town and in the industry were saying 'Good luck, sucker.' You're going to compete with Rainbow Run and Bighorn Fly & Tackle " Richard said. "We've established ourselves as the top shop."
The new shop has almost twice the space, counting a loft that can be used for classes on rod building and fly tying, allowing the couple to expand their inventory.
The confident Romersa said he doesn't worry about the record drought or competition from big box stores like Cabela's or Scheels.
Sales have been "phenomenal," he said, crediting his focus on serving the local fishing fanatics and stocking lots of inventory at East Rosebud Fly.
"Nobody wants to hear, 'I can order it.' That's how you make it today is to have it in the store," he said.
With a year to go on his lease, Romersa is looking for a business to sublease his 1,400-square-foot space at Plaza 24.
Rainbow Run on Grand Avenue closed one year ago, after 20 years in business.
Bighorn Fly and Wild Fly Angler Fly Shop at 101 Moore Lane are the other two fly fishing specialty shops in Billings.
Out and about
-- Payless Shoe Source in front of Walmart in Billings Heights has closed. But two other Payless Shoe stores remain open for business in Rimrock Mall and at Billings Marketplace at King Avenue South and South 24th Street West.
-- Some of the old J.C. Penney is coming back as the department store chain resumes holding the sales that it had stopped doing last year, according to Daily Clips. The bold business makeover that hurt sales and dropped stock value in half was orchestrated by chief executive Ron Johnson, a former Apple executive.
By the numbers
$20.8 billion: The money Americans are expected to spend on Valentine's Day, up more than 3 percent from last year. That works out to nearly $134 per person, according to IBISWorld, a market research firm. Retailing Today projected that Americans will spend nearly $1.3 billion on lingerie and clothing and $866 million on candy on Feb. 14.
17 percent: The jump in reservations at KOA campgrounds for the weekend of Jan. 11, compared to last year, which the Billings-based company attributes to chief executive Jim Rogers' appearance that week on the CBS's "Undercover Boss" reality TV show.
Feb. 4: A handful of Montana businesses will be featured Monday on ABC's "The Bachelor" episode showcasing the Whitefish area as single women try to win over bachelor Sean Lowe.
Scams du jour
When Jerry Fahrenthold of Red Lodge didn't immediately return an early morning cellphone call on Jan. 31 claiming he's won $850,000 from Publisher's Clearinghouse and a Mercedes Benz to be delivered that day, the Caribbean-based caller called right back scolding him for not responding.
"They're just trying to get me to call them and then they put exorbitant charges on my phone bill," he said.
The caller claimed that the Red Lodge man had won enough points shopping with a credit card at Walmart that he was entered in the sweepstakes. Not true, Fahrenthold said.
The scammer also called his cellphone number, which only friends have.
This scam uses at least four telephone prefixes 876, 284, 649 and 809 that look domestic, but are Caribbean prefixes.
If you return a call, the scammers could bill you for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
To avoid this potentially wallet-draining scam, always check out an area code before you dial it. Just go to the North American Numbering Plan Administration website: www.nanpa.com
Also, in the last column, a Laurel woman said she received a scam from Spain promising her an inheritance, but she was tipped off because the email used a date of 07/01/2013, a day that hasn't arrived yet.
But Alice Nation, an alert Spanish teacher at Billings Senior High School, pointed out that the Europeans reverse the month and the day, so to them these numbers read Jan. 7, 2013.
Duct tape is like "The Force." It has a dark side and a light side and it holds the universe together.
Did you ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn't zigzag
___ (c)2013 the Billings Gazette (Billings, Mont.) Visit the Billings Gazette
(Billings, Mont.) at www.billingsgazette.com Distributed by MCT Information
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