50 Years of The Dive Shop

If underwater photographs of exotic locales appeal to you — not to mention food, music, and all things diving — don't miss The Dive Shop's  half-a century birthday celebration coming up Saturday, July 23rd, from 1-5 p.m. at 999 South Yates Road.

Clearly those kinds of photographs appealed to Doug McNeese Sr., who  first thought of opening the store in 1959, while watching the old TV show Sea Hunt with his son Doug Jr.  At that time, McNeese  owned three stores dealing in records, jewelry, and toys. But he couldn't resist the lure of diving.  He closed those businesses, learned to dive,  and in 1961 opened The Dive Shop  in a shopping center on Poplar across from East High School. To keep the company afloat in the early years, McNeese supplemented the retail store  that sold diving equipment by branching out into manufacturing and distribution. He founded a dive bag business, Sports Leather Products Company, one of the first sports-specific luggage companies in the U.S. He also started Tri States Divers, a distribution business importing dive equipment from Italy and distributing it across the Southeast.

Doug McNeese Jr, who started assisting his  father at age 13, worked his way up from a pattern cutter in the bag business to top sales person and instructor in the retail store. In 1975 he bought The Dive Shop from McNeese Sr. and  paid off its debt in 1983, shifting the focus back to retail. By 1988 he'd expanded the business to additional locations — one in Little Rock, and another in Atlanta.

In 1993, the junior McNeese moved the store to its current South Yates location, where it still remains the only facility of its kind in the region, featuring all levels of training and equipment for scuba, snorkeling, and swimming.  It was recently recognized at the Scuba Schools of America National Dealer Conference in Loveland, Colorado, for 50 years of outstanding service.  In addition to its Memphis store, it also boasts locations  in  Little Rock, Marietta, and Joplin, along with a collegiate SCUBA program at the University of Mississippi.

For more information about The Dive Shop and its upcoming 50th anniversary celebration,  call 763-3483 or go to www.diveshop1.com.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

For My Sister (And Yours)

Let’s make every month one for breast cancer awareness.
2015.10.05 08:00 AM

Five Things To Do This Weekend in Memphis October 2nd-4th

Get your body in motion for a fantasy weekend.
2015.10.01 02:00 PM

Five Things To Do This Weekend in Memphis October 9th-11th

Stew up a wine-derful weekend in some old haunts.
2015.10.08 02:46 PM
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Stories

New Day at the CA. Again.

Another ownership change at the Commercial Appeal could bring unwelcome change to Memphis' daily paper.
2015.10.09 08:00 AM

Five Things To Do This Weekend in Memphis October 9th-11th

Stew up a wine-derful weekend in some old haunts.
2015.10.08 02:46 PM

Safe or Sorry: Uber Talks Background Checks

Are Uber’s background checks safe? More details about how the company hires.
2015.10.07 12:00 PM

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The “Memphis” magazine staff blog

About This Blog

“901” is the current affairs blog compiled by the staff of Memphis magazine, where readers can find breaking-news tidbits relating to all facets of life in the Bluff City. 

Edited by Shara Clark, Contemporary Media’s special projects editor, this blog’s regular participants include long-time Memphis editors such as Michael Finger, Jackson Baker, Frank Murtaugh, and Kenneth Neill. “901” also includes regular contributions from Inside Memphis Business staffers Richard Alley and Eileen Townsend, as well as the staff of the Memphis Flyer.

Every Thursday our Calendar Editor, Julie Ray, posts her picks for the weekend's events and activities.

“901” is the place where Memphis readers can “dial in” to find fresh reporting of recent developments in our city’s political, economic, and cultural life.

Recent Posts



Atom Feed Subscribe to the 901 Feed »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags