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Bennie’s Western Wear owner Jimmy Mason cuts a ceremonial ribbon at the shop’s new location in Carlsbad Monday, surrounded by family, friends, staff and Carlsbad business representatives. (Photo Courtesy Robert Defer)

Seven decades after first opening its doors in downtown Artesia, Bennie’s Western Wear is celebrating the establishment of a second location in Carlsbad.

The local western store – Artesia’s oldest continuously-operating shop – is known throughout the region, and that popularity is what called owner Jimmy Mason to expand to serve all of Eddy County.

“Bennie’s South” was celebrated by the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce with a ribbon cutting Monday at 107 S. Canyon and will hold an official grand opening celebration at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 21, in conjunction with the National Day of the American Cowboy.

The event will feature live entertainment, door prizes, and free refreshments, with Papa Murphy’s pizza cooked fresh right outside the store.

Bennie’s began its family-owned legacy in Artesia in 1947 as a shoe repair shop. It has since expanded to carry a full range of both work and western apparel and footwear, along with gifts, guns and ammunition.

Jimmy and Clay Mason say that, particularly at Eddy County Fair time, customers would frequently ask the family to consider a location in Carlsbad, and after 71 years, the time had come.

“I would like to thank the people of Eddy County for all the encouragement they have given me and my son since we made the decision to open a second store,” said Jimmy Mason. “We hope to be good citizens for Carlsbad and are hoping for great things from our store.”

The Masons say they are grateful for the assistance they’ve received in their new venture and are looking forward to serving all county residents.

The Carlsbad store will be open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturdays, and may be reached at 575-941-2333. The Artesia location continues to operate from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturdays, and may be reached at 746-2542.

“The list of people that have been a help in getting everything started is too long, and I know I would forget to thank someone, so I will just say thank you and God bless to all,” Mason said. “This is our 71st year in Artesia and the start of many in Carlsbad.”