New Cabela's Outfitters Mega-Store Intended As Vacation Destination - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/25/05-Tarrant County

New Cabela's Outfitters Mega-Store Intended As Vacation Destination

Early Thursday morning, the doors will open on Texas' newest attraction -- a destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Cabela's is an Nebraska-based chain of mega-stores catering to hunters, anglers, and anyone who loves the outdoors. The new store is located in northern Tarrant County north of Fort Worth, at the intersection of Interstate 35 west and Highway 170.

"We call these destination superstores. It's really a lifestyle choice," says Cabela's spokesman James Powell.

Cabela's has 230,000 square feet for the outdoor lifestyle.  The folks opening the location know the crowds will come.

"We always put our stores where we have a loyal customer base, and we have the best catalog and Internet customers right here in Texas," Powell says.

Cabela's has ten other stores. This one's the second largest.

Starting with clothing and camping supplies, the variety is staggering.  But it's the attractions, almost like an amusement park, that they're counting on to bring in families.

"Half of our customers will be from the local area, and the other half will be people that travel more than a hundred miles and spend a half day or a full day here with their entire family," Powell says.

"We have toys for kids to look at. We have shooting galleries."  Plus an archery range, and aquarium, and incredible collections of Texas wildlife.

This, clearly, was painstaking work.

"Thousands of hours of labor from a whole staff of taxidermists [went into the displays of wildlife]," he adds.

There are fishing supplies galore -- enough to rig up a cruise ship -- and for those into shooting sports, row after row of rifles, shotguns, and handguns.

For the experienced hunter, to a child learning how to shoot.

"We're going to make sure that he gets a shotgun that fits him properly that is not overcomplicated," Powell says.

From a young man's first rifle to something that is truly a work of art, there are a number of firearms in the gun museum with very high price tags, and it goes up from there. The most expensive is a handcrafted triple-barreled shotgun priced at $50,000.

Most of what is in Cabela's is what you normally need for an outdoor experience. The designers, though, say they wanted to make this store an experience all its own.

"We wanted to put a Texas touch on this store."

Reported by Morgan Palmer.


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