At 100,000 square feet, when the store opens Aug. 21, it will be the largest Cabela’s in the state and the second of three planned for Georgia. Cabela’s bills itself as the world’s foremost outfitter and sells hunting, fishing and outdoor gear.
The company said Tuesday Cabela’s expects 5,000 to 7,000 people to turn out on opening day, but added the store has a capacity of about 2,900.
“We’re expecting a huge turnout, from all over,” Cabela's said. “There’s going to be games, giveaways and a live deejay will be there from 8 a.m.”
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 10:45 a.m., before the store opens to the public at 11 a.m.
With weeks before the scheduled opening, the store had already stocked much of the large space Tuesday, with equipment for backpacking, camping, kayaking, boating, fishing, archery, hunting and other outdoor activities.
Lance Mosley, a Cabela’s spokesperson, said the store offers more to customers than other outfitters.
“Not only do we sell the gear, we also spend a lot of time teaching them how to use it,” Mosley said. “That’s the thing that really sets us apart, is the customer service part of the business.”
The store located in southwest Cherokee County will employee more than 200 employees, and Mosley said at least 98 percent of those were hired locally.
“It adds a huge boost to the economy,” he said.
General Manager Earl Johnson was at the store on Tuesday, and said Cabela’s has something for everyone.
The store has an indoor archery range for testing bows, a Gun Library featuring rare and expensive firearms, a cafe with about 50 flavors of homemade fudge and wild game sandwiches, a fishing section with more than 1,000 fishing rods and much more.
“We’ve got a world-class fishing department,” Johnson said. “We do freshwater, and we can outfit someone for salt water, as well.”
The store’s centerpiece is a replica of a mountain, 30 feet tall, covered in museum-quality taxidermy animals from elk, to turkeys to bears.
Flowing from the top, a creek and waterfall wind down the mountain replica, emptying into a large glass aquarium, where Johnson said the store will display local fish.
Throughout the store, more than 150 taxidermy animals are displayed, Johnson said.
“Some of them are local to Georgia, but we source them from all over,” Johnson said, adding that some of the larger taxidermy animals stand more than 7 feet tall.
Some of the taxidermy animals sit in large tree structures that stretch from the floor to the ceiling, more than a dozen sit atop the mountain replica and others are displayed around the store.
Connected to the large mountain centerpiece is an interactive touchscreen kiosk, where visitors and children can learn about animals, listen to sounds and watch videos of the animals. There’s also a Big Buck arcade game where customers can try their hand at hunting.
Johnson said Cabela’s will have $1 million worth of various types of guns, which were expected to arrive at the store Wednesday.
The gun section is complete with a background check area, a gun appraiser and the featured Gun Library.
“We’ll keep very, very high end inventory in here,” Johnson said of the library. “And it takes about five minutes (to do a background check) and we know who we’re selling a gun to.”
The store also features a showroom for boats; a power sports section with motorized vehicles such as All Terrain Vehicles; clothing for men, women and children; a children’s section and gift section with outdoor themed items; a conference room for rent; a large fireplace and seating area; hand-painted murals; a Bargain Cave; and more.
The Augusta Cabela’s opened in March with a 42,000-square foot facility, and plans for a 70,000-square-foot Ft. Oglethorpe Cabela’s store are underway, with a projected opening date in fall 2015.
The Acworth Cabela’s is in the Cherokee Village development, at the northeast corner of Interstate 75 and Highway 92, at 152 Northpoint Parkway.