Sneak peek inside new Cabela's store [Whitefish Pilot, Mont.]
(Whitefish Pilot (Whitefish, MT) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 25--The anticipation has been building for months. Hunters and anglers from across the valley have kept a close eye on the construction progress of the new Cabela's Outpost in Kalispell since crews broke ground this past spring.
The new 42,000-square-foot store is now completely stocked and will finally open to the public Nov. 7 at 11 a.m. during a grand opening ceremony.
While most stores open with a simple ribbon cutting, Cabela's does it a bit different.
"We open Cabela's style," said Jessica Grodderz, marketing manager for the Kalispell store.
A professional archer will launch an arrow from distance and split a red ribbon, christening the new store that is totally dedicated to the outdoor enthusiast.
The Cabela's brand is all about hunting, fishing, camping and hiking. The Kalispell store features an indoor archery range and tech room, an expansive firearms counter, a fishing department, camping gear, camouflage and clothing, and an entire section dedicated to gear for hunting dogs.
Animal displays of local wildlife bookend the store, while interactive gear displays are made to rotate with the seasons.
More than 125 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees have been hired to staff the sales floor, including "outfitters" that are touted as experts in their field.
Whitefish resident Dax Kara was hired as an outfitter in the fishing department. He says Cabela's is the perfect place to feed his passion for reeling in fish.
"If I'm next to a body of water, I have to fish," he said. "Now, I get to talk to people every day about what I love and work with gear I love."
Kara jumped at the chance to apply for a job when he heard Cabela's was coming to the valley.
"I grew up with Cabela's," he said. "I remember as a kid when the catalog would come in the mail and I'd sit down and look through it for hours."
Preston Cannady, of Whitefish, was hired to work in the archery department and at the archery range. As the author of "Hunting Mature Whitetail Bucks," he truly is an expert in his field. He's been an avid outdoorsman since 1969 and has studied whitetail deer extensively.
"I devoted every spare minute to studying whitetail," he said. "I got pretty good at it."
He decided to apply for a job at Cabela's to make his passion for hunting apart of his daily routine.
"I get to talk about hunting and get hunters started in the right way," he said.
The Outpost plans to regularly host seminars and educational clinics on everything from fly-casting to firearm safety. Outfitters, such as Kara and Cannady, will lead some clinics, while others will be led by experts from out of town.
The Kalispell location is the second Cabela's store in Montana. The other store is in Billings, while a third store is planned for Missoula.
Grodderz said it was an easy decision to bring the brand to the Flathead Valley when they looked at the sheer number of Cabela's catalog orders coming from the area.
"We did a lot of research and it showed that we have a loyal customer base here," Grodderz said. "The Cabela's brand is powerful."
(c)2013 The Whitefish Pilot (Whitefish, Mont.)
Visit The Whitefish Pilot (Whitefish, Mont.) at www.flatheadnewsgroup.com/whitefishpilot/
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