Dive Stores – The Heart Beat of the Industry

Why Dive Stores Are So Important
by Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Association, Inc.

There are between 1,400 and 1,800 Dive Stores in the United States and approximately 1,400 Dive Stores outside of the U.S.  That puts our worldwide total of Retail Stores, specializing in scuba diving and related diving activities, at around 3,200 stores.  Not a lot of retail outlets when you look at it from a global industry perspective.

We call these specialty stores, Retail Dive Centers.  Mainly because they are in the Retail Industry (NAICS Code 45), specializing in diving programs, products and services and they are the center of activity for our recreation.  They are our Industry Ambassadors that interact with the General Public on a daily basis.  When scuba diving started to become popular in the 1950’s in the United States, diving enthusiasts bought air compressors and set them up in their garages and basements, so they didn’t have to go to their local fire departments to get their air.  They started teaching scuba classes and soon began selling diving equipment to their students out of their home.  At that time, Army-Navy Surplus Stores and a few Sporting Goods Stores were the only source for equipment, air and repairs.

As the demand for scuba diving grew, the garage operations moved to commercially zoned retail locations and a specialty industry was born within the Retail Sporting Goods Industry (NAICS 451110).  Since then, Dive Stores have worked very closely with the Sporting and Athletic Goods Manufacturers (NAICS 339920), the Sports & Recreation Instruction Industry (NAICS 611620), and the various Travel Industries (NAICS Code 56+).  They have truly become the Recreational Diving Experts in many Industries that specialize in diving and diving related products.  To add to their credit, they have become quite competent in Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Law, and Labor Relations too.

The Dive Industry Foundation is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that specializes in “Promoting Economic Development in the Diving Industry.”  Our job is to research, study, understand and report on the diving business community.  We help dive businesses start, grow and succeed.  The Foundation offers free business consulting to dive business entrepreneurs and their employees.

The Dive Industry Foundation has been asked to advise on the Scuba & H2O Adventure Show in Tacoma, Washington on April 20-22, 2018.  We are working with all aspects of the show including Show Management, Vendors, Sponsors, Advertisers, Volunteers, Exhibitors, Speakers, and Attendees.  In the process we are recruiting Industry Professionals from the Local Dive Store, Dive Boat, Dive Club, Dive Resort and Dive Instruction  sectors of the Pacific Northwest U.S. and British Columbia to Volunteer, Advise, Attend and Participate in the dive show.   That’s a big job.

The Foundation is in the process of building its Dive Store, Dive Boat and Dive Club pages on our website.  Mind you, a “generic list” is not important or desired.  We are looking to begin a business relationship with active dive businesses that want to grow and contribute to their local diving community.

The Scuba & H2O Adventure Show is offering two free show passes to the Show on Saturday and Sunday to every Retail Dive Center (Staff only) and Dive Boat Operator in the 6 state Pacific Northwest and British Columbia so they could meet with their vendors who are exhibiting at the show.

Show Manager, Gene Muchanski is creating a Professional Development Seminar Day on Friday, April 20, 2018 at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center.  Admission if free to Industry Professionals.  Seminar rooms will be sponsored by Equipment Manufacturers, Training Agencies and Travel Resorts and Operators.  We are looking forward to bringing topics of interest to the local dive industry professionals.  Registration for the Friday Seminars has not been created yet.

Registration forms will be available soon for the 2 FREE Show Passes.  Interested Dive Stores and Dive Boats may register now by sending their Business Card with full contact information via U.S. First Class Mail to Dive Industry Foundation, 2294 Botanical Circle, West Melbourne, FL 32904.  No emails please.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone in the Pacific Northwest Diving Community on April 20-22, 2018 at your 11th annual event.

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