ONALASKA -- Owners of the former Gander Mountain store in Onalaska are hiring employees and remodeling the space in preparation for reopening this winter.

Gander Outdoors is holding a recruitment event this week at the Workforce Development Center on East Avenue in La Crosse, and Onalaska’s DBS Group has announced it is remodeling the store for a mid-February opening.

In April, recreational vehicle dealer Camping World Holdings Inc. won a bankruptcy auction for sporting goods retailer Gander Mountain Co. and said it would continue operating at least 70 of the 162 stores, including the Onalaska location, as Gander Outdoors. Camping World did not purchase the inventory, which was sold off by a liquidation firm.

The Onalaska store closed in September, and 32 employees were laid off, according to a notice from the state

Last week Gander Outdoors opened its first store in Lakeville, Minn.

Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis in November told investors he plans to open the initial 15 to 20 Gander Outdoors stores by the end of the first quarter of 2018, and an additional 40 stores during the second and third quarters of 2018.

Lemonis did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

The 57,120-square-foot store, which opened in 2011, was built on a former Walmart store site and replaced a 33,000-square-foot Gander Mountain that had been in business since 1995 on Hwy. 16 in Onalaska.

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