Outdoor Lovers To Be Drawn To New Store - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/6/06-Tyler

Outdoor Lovers To Be Drawn To New Store

Gander Mountain opens to the public next Tuesday, and for the thousands of East Texans who hunt, fish, and have fun outdoors, getting outfitted will be much easier.

The new store, nearly 70,000 square feet is located along Highway 69 just south of Cumberland Road.

"Twenty days ago, this building was empty. And within a little less than three weeks, we've come into the building, the product's in and we're getting ready to open up," says manager Derek Perlich.

That's no small feat considering everything from fishing lures, to furniture, to guns, to stuffed frogs have been stuffed into Gander Mountain.

"Have gone from a small catalog in Wisconsin, and this will be the 99th Gander Mountain location to open. The ninth one in Texas," he says.

Store manager Derek Perlich says when the store opens on Tuesday, they hope it'll be popular. Considering no other store in East Texas is remotely like it.

"We are 100 percent dedicated to the outdoors. You won't find athletic equipment, or fitness equipment or some of the sportswear that some of those will carry. We are 100 percent dedicated to hunting fishing, camping, and that outdoor lifestyle," Perlich says.

The outdoor lifestyle isn't limited to shoes, and clothing. There are some very unique gifts and decor to make any home feel more cozy.

"The gift business in this industry is just huge. In Minnesota and the midwest, we call it cabin decor. In the southern market, we call it ranch decor.  It's a really successful department for us," he says.

Going after the whole family, not just one or two hunters is their goal. But Perlich expects many to be drawn to the centerpiece.  Wednesday, hundreds of guns were uncrated, logged, and displays began to be filled.

"We have little bitty guns starting out for the youth, and we have the big safari guns. If you want to go to Africa and kill a cape buffalo, we've got something for you there, too," says Barry Clark,  a local gun expert hired by Gander Mountain.

Perlich says with technology changing all the time, those who work here have to be on the cutting edge.

"Tou can now go to a body of water in a bass boat with three depth finders, underwater camera, and a GPS to find the fish in the water and it's changing every six months," Perlich says.

Fishing has changed. There are lures with crazy names. What in the world is a "Texas Rigged Watermelon Seed Soft Plastic" or a "Rat-L-Trap?"

"We'll have 8-to-10,000 thousand lures to use in here.  All the newest all the greatest, all the oldies, as much as we can possibly fit into this area," Perlich says.

If there's something outdoors, you'll be able to find it, or they'll be able to get it. And with few places like Gander Mountain anywhere in a day's drive, they're ready for a rush.

"We are very happy to be here," Perlich says.

Gander Mountain will open no later than 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 11.  The Grand Opening is Saturday, April 22.   It is located just south of Cumberland Road along U.S. Highway 69 near the southern city limits of Tyler.

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