Two weeks from opening, Cabelas boasts 80,000 square feet of outdoors shoppingBy BILL WILSON
The Wichita Eagle
At first glance, its hard to fathom how Wichita Cabelas officials are going to need another two weeks to open: Staffers scurrying everywhere, product on most shelves.
Nonetheless, its going to be 11 a.m. March 14 before the destination outdoors retailer opens its doors at K-96 and Greenwich.
Make no mistake: Cabelas is about outdoor sports first, second and third. The 80,000-square-foot stores fishing department takes up about 5,000 square feet of its own.
One thing thats really unique about this department is that every lure you could possibly have we have, said Gary Snyder of Wichita, who was stocking the department on Tuesday. If youve ever fished anything as your favorite, if we aint got it, well get it.
But the company has other people besides outdoors aficionados in mind: Theres a 20-foot mountain featuring about 35 large- and small-game animal mounts from North America that company spokesman Wes Remmer said is an attraction for the non-outdoors types who come in with their hunter or fishing lover.
Its a draw for everyone, whether youre a guy, a gal, young or old, Remmer said. Its got the 4,000-gallon aquarium on the side. You can simply look at it and be entertained. The display speaks for itself.
Cabelas clothing department is another draw, Remmer said, targeting outdoors enthusiasts and their families.
When you take a look around, theres more than the outdoorsy stuff, Remmer said. Weve got T-shirts, shorts. Its not all hunting and fishing. We like to offer something for everyone.
For example, the sophisticated gun collector with a bankroll can find a huge collection of hard-to-find firearms in the stores gun library, ranging from $1,000 to $18,000.
Cabelas is very proud of its gun library. We have one in every store, and its the gem of the store, Remmer said. There are definitely collectors out there, and if you get someone in here its safe to say that they are an avid gun person.
The Wichita gun library has shotguns, handguns and rifles dating to the early 1800s and some of the first repeating firearms, all acquired by the companys team of vintage-gun buyers.
We have a team of guys who work the shows, buying, selling and trading guns, Remmer said. Its quite a process.
Austin native P.J. Martinez runs the gun library, which also includes customer service issues like repairs.
I get to buy and sell guns all day, he said, smiling.
The stores other features include a bargain cave with discounted prices on returned and discontinued merchandise, a fudge shop stocked with homemade goods, a grill serving lunch and a conference and seminar room that includes a clinic area.
The Wichita store is one of six Cabelas will open this year. The other sites are Tulalip, Wash.; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Rogers, Ark.; Union Gap, Wash.; and Charleston, W.Va.Reach Bill Wilson at 316-268-6290 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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