An iconic Salina business will close its doors for good on Thursday after nearly four decades in operation.
Horsemen’s Headquarters, 205 E. Pacific, which has been a part of the Salina business community for 39 years, will close due to the economy, according to Kevin Watts, who co-owns and operates the business with his wife Stacy. “The economy is tough,” he said.
The business was originally opened in 1977 by Mel Pedersen as Mel’s Tack and Saddle. Mel operated the business until his death in October 2002. His wife, Velma, kept it open until her retirement in December 2005.
When Velma retired, the business was taken over by her niece, Stacy Watts and husband Kevin, and the name was changed.
The store sold saddles as well as other things such as harnesses for horses, including the bridle and saddle, and other accessories such as spurs and rope. The store also offered western apparel including boots.
The store, for many years, featured a loyal customer base from all over the midwest, including customers from as far away as Wichita and Colorado. For many years, it was the only business in the area to sell many of the saddles and other items that were not available anywhere else.
The decision to close the business has not been an easy one for the Watts’. “It’s a shame that mom and pop businesses can’t make it anymore,” Kevin said.