Elmer's Watersports has been serving Chicago's SCUBA experts and novices alike for over 50 years...
Elmer Munk opened the shop's doors in 1971 and operated the business for nearly 30 years.The store was originally located in Skokie, Illinois, across the street from Sam Davison's SCUBA gear manufacturing company, Dacor. Elmer became dealer #003 for Dacor. Eventually, Mares purchased Dacor until finally closing the doors in 1999 after 45 years of operation (thank you Kirk).
In 1973, Elmer's Watersports moved to Evanston. The new store operated on the corner of Broadway & Central for 5 years, and then relocated to 707 Howard St. It remained on Howard until 1987, when Elmer Munk retired.
Myron Siciak met Elmer when he was 15 years old. Elmer visited Myron's high school to give a demonstration, and shortly thereafter Myron began taking lessons. since then he has logged 6045 dives in all types of environments. The two remained in contact over the years and in 1985, Myron began working at Elmer's part time as a SCUBA gear service technician. He continued working with Elmer until his mentor's retirement. When Elmer retired, he sold his business to protégés Myron Siciak and Mike Rogers. The two entrepreneurs relocated the shop to downtown Evanston, and entered a partnership with T.L. Fritts Sporting Goods. Myron and Mike ran the SCUBA lessons and travel; T.L. Fritts sold the SCUBA gear. After 2 years, Myron and Mike decided to operate independently. They reopened Elmer's at 1310 Oakton Street, and remain there today. Elmer's is now the oldest continually operated dive center in Chicago with 52 years of service.
In 1998, John Hernandez (an instructor and former student) bought out Mike Rogers, and co-owned the business with Myron. In 2005, with a growing family, John chose to pursue another career with less travel and more reasonable hours. We wish you all the best John! After John's departure, Elmer's employee and Instructor, Rick Deven bought into the business and partnered with Myron. For three years Rick and Myron continued to grow the business, teaching many new divers the wonders of the Scuba adventure.
In February 2008 Rick hung up his Scuba hat to pursue a lifelong passion of running his own mortuary business. We wish him the greatest success in all his ventures. Today Elmer's Watersports is owned by Myron Siciak. Myron continues to teach, travel and share his experiences of Scuba to any and all who are interested. The shop has grown from teaching beginner level courses and selling recreational gear, to a well rounded Scuba shop. We now offer training to the young and old, the novice, the advanced and the technical Scuba diver. With our dedicated staff of Instructor and Dive masters, we are able to bring Scuba to you.
For the REAL history of Elmer's, complete with folly, exploits, and mishaps, stop by our shop, join one of our courses and come out and have a drink or two with us. We would love to share our stories and experiences with you.