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Play It Again Sports pass the ball to new generation

The store switched owners on May 1
Chris Otero and Zach Matthews

In 2006, Christine Martin had three children who were all involved in sports. At the time, the only sports equipment store in Longmont was Sports Authority. Wanting to first shop for used equipment, Martin would drive to Fort Collins to the Play It Again Sports store. After asking why there wasn’t a location in Longmont, she set to change it by opening her own branch.

For 17 years, Martin and her husband managed Play It Again Sports in Longmont. The couple wanted to retire in 2020 until the pandemic hit. A combination of COVID-19 restrictions and complications with the store’s former location prevented the couple from selling it. They decided to ride it out and move the store to 1067 S. Hover St. 

After the move in 2021, Martin once again considered selling, but the timing still wasn’t right. She wanted to make sure that the new location was a good fit. A year later, the Longmont community responded better to the new location and sales began to increase. 

“We could always compete (with Dicks Sporting Goods and Big 5 — which has closed) because we were a franchise,” Martin said. 

When it was time to list the store again, two employees Chris Otero and Zach Matthews announced that they wanted to buy the store. Both Otero and Matthews have a combined 17 years of experience working at the Longmont location. 

“We wanted them to have it. They were enthusiastic, young, lots of energy, the store needed that,” Martin said. “I wanted to see it be successful. We wanted to keep it local.”  

The store switched owners on May 1 which allowed Martin to begin her retirement.