New Look for a Bright Future


Beginning on or about February 1, 2024, the east end of Tri-State Outfitters (Ace Hardware) will be closed off to the public as we begin a massive renovation and remodel of the 75 year old building we've been calling home all these years!  Employees are working feverishly to condensed and consolidate merchandise to the west end of the building so we can clear out the east end and prepare for a full gut.  Estimated time frame for this phase - approximately six months.

As work progresses inside the east end of the building, work will also begin on the outside of the building as soon as our weather becomes more cooperative.  The goal is to have a 21st Century facility completed from end-to-end, inside and out, in the next 20 months.  The visualization above is provided by architects Cushing Terrell.

(We'll Still Feature A Convenient Ace Hardware Department!)


Tri-State Distributors was founded in 1946 by Lee Connelly and two partners, who purchased Army Surplus at market in Seattle, then sold that surplus for a profit from the back of a pickup truck they'd drive around the Washington, Idaho, Oregon Palouse region, hence the name Tri-State Distributors.  Before long, Connelly bought the two partners out and became sole owner of the company.  In 1959, he built the first section of the current building here on the corner of Peterson on the Pullman Highway.

Connelly passed away in the early 60s, leaving Tri-State Stores to his wife and kids.  In 1970, his wife added to the footprint of today's building by completing what we now know as the "west end" of the nearly 60,000 square foot building.  The western-most end of the building was constructed specifically to house a furniture business owned by her cousin.  Economic hardships of the early 70s caused a downturn in business, inspiring her son to section off the west end of the building into three rental spaces, which remained until 1992, at which time Tri-State  expanded back into one of those spaces.

In 2004, Gerard Connelly, son of the founder, reclaimed the entire building and made Tri-State Outfitters into a focused Specialty Outdoor store, specializing in Sport Shoes, Sportswear and Sporting Goods, while also featuring an Ace Hardware Department and a Gourmet Kitchen and Gift Department.  In 2010, Gerard and his siblings sought to retire from business and executed this strategy by selling parent company Tri-State Distributors, Inc. to employee-owned Crown Enterprises, Inc., headquartered in Kalispell, Montana.  In so doing, approximately 20 longtime employees of Tri-State suddenly became owners of the business they helped build.

Now, 14 years later, we are all very excited to meet the challenges brought with this new phase of our ownership.  We're excited because we know how much our customers, our community, are going to appreciate and enjoy a new facility and all the amenities it will feature.  We believe you are all in for a very pleasant surprise and can't wait for you to see the finished product!   Our company.  Our store.  Our new identity.  Moscow's Sportsman & Ski Haus.