A national leader in retail sales of outdoor gear announced plans Thursday to open one of its first two Georgia locations near Acworth, bringing Cherokee County 200 new jobs.
Nebraska-based Cabela’s Inc. is set to begin construction this fall on its Acworth location on Highway 92 at Interstate 75 and hopes to open by fall 2014, said Nathan Borowski, spokesman for the retailer. The 100,000-square-foot shop is planned to be the first in the Cherokee Village commercial development being constructed by nationwide developer Majestic Realty.
Borowski said the 200 jobs projected to come to Cherokee with Cabela’s will be a mix of full-time, part-time and seasonal positions all in the management and sales areas. The company has not yet announced when hiring will begin, but Borowski said pay would be “competitive.”
Cabela’s has kept a watchful eye on Georgia for years, looking for the right location to set up shop, but finally selected Acworth thanks to its strategic location in metro Atlanta and strong retail market, Borowski said.
“The Acworth area is already a big draw to customers for a number of reasons,” Borowski said. “And we fully expect to add to that draw.”
Another factor leading Cabela’s, and other companies, to this spot in the southwestern corner of Cherokee County is likely its location on the edge of one of the county’s two opportunity zones, said Misti Martin, president of the Cherokee County Office of Economic Development. New businesses moving into these areas enjoy a state tax credit of $3,500 per full-time employee every year for their first five years in business, Martin said Thursday.
Martin said the tax breaks are a “huge driver for companies looking at Cherokee.”
And once businesses like Cabela’s come, Cherokee benefits from the dollars they bring in, she said.
Cherokee County Commissioner Jason Nelms, who represents District 4, where Cabela’s is building, agreed Thursday that the store will draw dollars to southwest Cherokee.
“This is going to be a huge, huge, huge positive,” Nelms said. “The southwest portion of the county needed a good anchor.”
Nelms said Cabela’s might serve as that anchor, bringing other development to the opportunity zone.
“It’s going to spawn off other high-end retail,” the commissioner said. “A lot of retailers follow Cabela’s around.”
Board of Commissioners Chairman Buzz Ahrens agreed.
“They draw a number of other retailers that fit the Cabela’s shopper profile,” Ahrens said Thursday. “This is absolutely terrific news.”
Borowski said the chain has a loyal customer-base following them.
“A lot of our customers now drive hours to come visit our stores,” he said. “This means increased business for local restaurants, hotels, other shopping centers and malls.”
Martin too said she was hopeful the store will spur business for other companies in this area, which she calls the “gateway” to Cherokee from Cobb County.
“We are excited about today’s announcement and look forward to working with Cabela’s to see this project through to the grand opening,” Martin said.
With another Georgia location being constructed in Augusta, Cherokee’s Cabela’s is set to be the larger of the two and will be designed to offer customers an “outdoor-like experience with museum-quality wildlife displays,” the company said in a release Thursday.
It will include a large replica of a mountain, gun library, boat shop, indoor archery range, deli and fudge shop.