Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cabela's expects 1,500-plus for May 14 grand opening

Curtis Smith, manager of the new Cabela's store in Ammon. 
Cabela’s in Ammon is entering the homestretch to its May 14 opening, with 165 people hired to staff the 44,000-square-foot store.

Although they have been very busy, Store Manager Curtis Smith and Operations Manager Jason Porter have already had a few opportunities already to experience eastern Idaho’s outdoors. On a recent hike up Palisades Creek, they saw mountain goats and moose. After moving here from St. Louis, their perception of the local market prompted them to more than double the size of the store’s fly-fishing section.

The Ammon store represents a new direction for Cabela’s, which until recently built much larger stores. “(The new format) allows us to get into communities where a 180,000-square-foot store wouldn’t work,” Smith said.

But Cabela’s knew the Idaho Falls-Ammon market would be a winner, based on all the online and catalog sales it has done with people in this area. What people from here have ordered in the past played a large part in determining what inventory is being stocked in the store.
Anyone who wants to order online or from the catalog can have it delivered to the store and save themselves shipping costs.

Smith said they expect between 1,500 and 2,000 people for the grand opening, which is at 10 a.m. There will be no ribbon cutting. Instead, it will be severed by an arrow shot by Shelby Richardson, one of the store’s archery outfitters (the term Cabela’s uses for employees), who was one of three finalists in a shooting contest, then wrote an essay in a contest personally judged by Cabela’s CEO Thomas Millner.