I just got back from my hike across the hill from the Union Square area in San Francisco over to the Scope City store near Fisherman’s Wharf. Given that we don’t have a brick and mortar scope store in the Austin, TX area, I usually try to visit one when I’m in the area. I’ve been to this Scope City a number of times when I’ve been out here on business, as well as the one in Vegas once. When I’m in the San Jose area I try to get to the Orion store in Cupertino. Like so many other industries, it’s really hard for these local stores to stay going, when it’s usually easier and cheaper to buy online. Since I generally have no choice but to buy online, I don’t particularly feel bad for going for the best deal. For the locals, however, having a place to walk into and someone knowledable to talk to is typically worth the extra cost.
The store is certainly worth a visit, and the guys working there are always great. For someone like me, it’s the little accesories they have that I find most useful. They do have a ton of scopes on display, but most of them are old discontinued models, generally still with pretty hefty pricetags. I suspect most are on consignment, but I’ve never really asked. It’s understandable that it’s hard for a store to have a significant investment on hand in the form of current display models. Anything current they have goes straight out the door. The same is generally true of the Orion store as well, although their store is a fraction of the size with a fraction of the scopes, and with all Orion brands, things tend to be a bit newer and look more uniform. Still, I’ve never walked into any scope store and seen the latest greatest thing on display. Bummer!