Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 25, 2013

Lake Bonita Sales closing

2013 to be ‘the last season’ for business

Tim Preston
The Independent

Lake Bonita — Howard and Phyllis Crabtree visited Lake Bonita in Boyd County more than three decades ago and found a place they decided to call home for themselves and their business.

“What started out to be a day of fishing ended up being a full-time job,” she said, explaining 2013 will be “the last season” for their business, Lake Bonita Sales.

The business has changed considerably during the 33 years since the Crabtrees bought Lake Bonita, named for former owner Bonita Stanley, at auction. For many years the couple operated a pay lake during the warm months and relied upon television repair business in winter. “Now, you can buy a new one for less than you can get one repaired,” he said of the former repair service.

“We closed the lake about 13 years ago,” she said, as her husband explained the five-acre man-made pond still contains catfish, bass, crappie and bluegill, but “now is just a private lake.”

In recent times, the business has offered Buck stoves, pellet stoves, wood stoves, fireplace inserts and gas logs, and the Crabtrees still have an impressive inventory to liquidate before they can put up the closed sign and pursue their plans “to do church work and go fishing under a shade tree in their own back yard.” The couple say they would like to see the business go to younger people.

“It would be a good business for a young couple to get started in. They could make a living at it,” she said. “We will sell all inventory at once to someone wanting to start their own business, or one piece at a time.”

At 83 years old, Mr. Crabtree said they are both ready to embrace retirement, but only after their business has been taken care of.

“We are still open 9 to 5, six days a week,” he said with a smile. “If they bring the money, I’ve got the stove.”

Anyone interested in the business opportunity is encouraged to visit Lake Bonita Sales, located off of Ky. 538 at Lake Bonita, during regular business hours, or call (606) 739-6319.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com.