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Grand opening held for Cabela's Outpost in Augusta

Thursday, March 20, 2014 12:32 PM
Last updated Friday, March 21, 2014 8:35 AM
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A box of ammunition was the first purchase made Thursday morning at the new Cabela’s Outpost store in Augusta.

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Hundreds of people gather outside for the grand opening of the Cabela's Outpost store in Augusta.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Hundreds of people gather outside for the grand opening of the Cabela's Outpost store in Augusta.

The first customer in the checkout line, Ed Udell, spent $15.11 on bullets for a .22 long rifle after waiting outside since 6 a.m. for the outdoors store to open in the Village at Riverwatch.

“I am totally thrilled that they got a store here,” said Udell, of Martinez. “I love fishing and hunting.”

Udell was among hundreds of customers waiting in a line that wrapped throughout the Cabela’s parking lot to the street. A Richmond County deputy directed traffic before the grand opening, as vehicles had filled the lot and were parking on both sides of the shopping center’s streets.

A company spokesman estimated that 2,000 people had gathered in front of the 42,000-square-foot store shortly before the doors opened at 11 a.m.

Cabela’s CEO Tommy Millner was in attendance for the company’s first store opening in Georgia and in the Southeast. The Augusta store employs about 90 associates.

Millner, a Virginia native whose wife is from Georgia, said he has wanted to bring a Cabela’s to the region since taking over the company five years ago. Cabela’s has more than 50 stores across the country, with stores opening in Greenville, S.C., on April 3 and in Acworth, Ga., later this year.

“We’ve got customers in the South that are just waiting for us,” Millner said.

The site off River Watch Parkway and Interstate 20 is ideal for several reasons, he said.

“It’s a great location because we’re close to the South Carolina border, so it can draw from Aiken and Augusta, and we’ve got good interstate visibility,” Millner said. “We love being with Costco. We locate with them in a lot of places in America. We just love it here.”

Cabela’s follows Costco as the second major commercial project to open in the development, where a movie theater and an outlet mall also are in the works. Bass Pro Shops once planned a store for the center but backed out in 2011, as it also did last year with a store pegged for Columbia County.

Some eager customers, such as Tracy Lingle and his group from the local chapter of Trail Life USA, camped out overnight to be the first in line early Thursday for Cabela’s opening.

Lingle said he and about 25 others started the line at 2 a.m., which had quickly multiplied by about 8 a.m.

“It’s just kind of a fun thing to do,” said the Evans resident. “We really wanted to be the first or as close to the front as possible.”

Customers were greeted inside the store by employees, who cheered and gave out high-fives as they entered. The first 500 people received gift cards ranging from $5 to $250.

North Augusta resident Robert Herring and his 1-year-old son, Colin, were shopping in the fishing department. Herring, who already had picked up a fishing rod, said he also was looking for lures.

“I’ve been waiting for this day for two months,” said Herring, adding that he likely would frequent the store twice a month.

The store also includes hunting, camping and apparel sections, a firearms counter, and an indoor archery range and tech room.

Tommy Davis traveled 30 miles from Johnson, S.C., with his wife, Len, to check out the new store. He had added a boat cover and pistol holster to his cart, while Len looked in the women’s apparel section.

“I’m just glad that Cabela’s decided to come to the CSRA,” he said. “I think that it was a good idea because we’ve got a lot of hunters and fishers in this area.”

Davis, an avid online shopper with Cabela’s, described the business as beautiful.

“It’s a very nice store,” he said. “It’s bigger than I thought it would be inside.”

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countyman
19166
Points
countyman 03/20/14 - 01:15 pm
9
3
Booming!!

The amount of new retail in Augusta is truly remarkable and even many larger cities are envious(great example is Birmingham).. The new Whole Foods, Cabelas, DSW, Home Goods, Michael Kors, H&M, and the outlet mall were announced within an 12-14 month period. The only nearby competitor with better shopping than Augusta is Charleston(tied with Greenville & ahead of Columbia). The improvements in downtown Augusta will bring retailers who might prefer urban location sometimes(urban outfitters). Please don't be surprise if Dave & Busters, REI, Container Store, Urban Outfitters, and other national retailers come join the commercial boom..

Butterman
3448
Points
Butterman 03/20/14 - 01:48 pm
5
8
Booming?

This is a $42,000 square foot store, about the same size as the average grocery store.Heck next time a Kroger or a Puiblix opens up we ought to throw a parade. I would like to know just how many tax subsidies Augusta gave away through the TAD to get this store. You know TADs were initially intended to draw these types of developments to blighted or economically depressed areas. I wonder why this project was not steered towards South Augusta where they are desperate for more retail options? Seems to me if you are going give away generous tax subsidies that should be the stipulation. That is what TADs were created for. I will get excited when we get some real manufacturing jobs, or some professional corporate level jobs or snag a corporate HQ. That is the hallmark of a booming economy. Retail does not bring in new money, it just shifts it around the local economy. I would go on but explaining basic economics to some people on here is like talking to a brick wall.

InChristLove
22420
Points
InChristLove 03/20/14 - 01:50 pm
6
7
I know this may seem like a

I know this may seem like a dumb question but 2,000 people.....why aren't these people at work? And the young man who was the first customer through the door...He looked like a high school student. Why wasn't he in school. I'm excited that Cabela's is here and all but I'm surprised that many people are not working at 11am on a weekday is all.

Cameron Poe
826
Points
Cameron Poe 03/20/14 - 01:56 pm
8
5
Countyman I like the

Countyman I like the enthusiasm! Supporting our city and its businesses no matter how small is always a good thing.

But, with that said I think sometimes you might need some links or facts to back up some of what you are saying. I think many folks just are not willing to take any statements about Augusta growth at face value. For, example I'm not really sure Birmingham is envious of Augusta. They have had a lot of high end shopping for years at The Summit and The Galleria. They have had a Bass Pro shop in Leeds for years now. And our dysfunctional city council is something they certainly are not envious of, since they just got done sending a corrupt mayor to prison and cleaning up his messes.

Please, don't misconstrue what I am saying here. I am all for supporting Augusta and the whatever positive growth we have in our city. But, sometimes without any references I think most folks chalk most of the excitement up to hyperbole.

Butterman
3448
Points
Butterman 03/20/14 - 02:00 pm
5
5
Christ

Well maybe these people were all lining up to fill out employment applications, with the high rate of unemployment in Augusta. I am always glad to see a new store coming to the area, but I do not not understand this much hoopla. You would have thought a Six Flags was opening up there. Also when you give away millions in tax subsidies, it is no surprise you will have some stores willing to come to capitalize on all the freebies. But is it worth it? And who makes up the difference? Taxpayers, that's who. If this was a plant bringing thousands of high paying jobs to the area then I could understand giving tax subsidies, but not to a 42,000 retail store where most employees will be making slightly above min. wage

countyman
19166
Points
countyman 03/20/14 - 02:01 pm
6
8
Sad!!

The same few people have to remain negative all the time.. The new Cabela's represents the first location in the state of Georgia and I believe the second one in the entire southeast. How can anybody compare the Cabela's to Publix or Kroger? The amount of people who decided to attend the grand opening today clearly shows the major difference between those retailers. The Cabelas and outlet mall will both definitely bring in new revenue...

The Peach Orchard road corridor in South Augusta is undergoing many changes right now. Why didn't the Target at the Mullins Crossing shopping center(Evans) open in Grovetown instead? The Grovetown area near I-20 is richer compared to the actual city limits of Grovetown.. The double standards have to end soon.

The Starbucks plant, Rockwood plant, Eco Energy, Augusta Renewable Energy, etc are new manufacturing jobs..

countyman
19166
Points
countyman 03/20/14 - 02:44 pm
3
5
Size

Cameron Poe.. New retailers have opened in the Summit recently, but remember the metro area of Birmingham is 1.1 million compared to the 575,000 in Augusta.. The Bass Pro location is nice, but metro Augusta allows you to shop at the Cabelas in Richmond or the Gander Mountain in Columbia County. Both cities have the same number of Whole Foods locations and the city of Augusta can offer H&M to potential shoppers... The Augusta mall attracted H&M, Apple, Michael Kors, etc and the trade area of the outlet mall is even much larger.. The outlet mall will bring many new retailers into the market.

Jake
31693
Points
Jake 03/20/14 - 02:36 pm
2
4
I dunno.....

.....looks like a lot of people with plenty of time on their hands. Nothing wrong with that. Any free food involved with this?

InChristLove
22420
Points
InChristLove 03/20/14 - 02:56 pm
3
4
countyman, I understand that

countyman, I understand that it's a big deal to some that Cabela's opened here but seriously, this is a 42,000 sq ft store compared to a 70,000 sq ft store they are going to build in Fort Oglethorpe, GA the fall of next year and a 100,000 sq ft store they are opening up in the fall of this year in Ackworth, GA......so yeah it's nice and exciting but in reality it does not benefit the economy in this area a whole lot. It's not being negative, it's being real. This store opens and how many more will close their doors in the next 6 months to a year.

Cameron Poe
826
Points
Cameron Poe 03/20/14 - 03:10 pm
5
0
Countyman I think you might

Countyman I think you might have misconstrued what I was saying. Im in agreement with you regarding the growth in Augusta. However I was simply offering a little friendly advice as to why you are met with such cynicism when you post. Sometimes simply just listing the "coming attractions" is not enough. People around here need to see it for themselves. But you still did not offer any fact concerning your assertion that Birmingham is a larger city envious of Augusta.

But, as far as Birmingham goes yes it is a city twice the size of Augusta. But, with its smaller burbs and communities like Mountain Brook, Homewood, etc. it does not necessarily feel that way. The Summit may be gaining more shops recently but they have had upscale shopping and dining for years now. That is what they opened it as, upscale outdoor shopping and dining. The Galleria has been open for years with many well known and upscale stores. Both of these places as with most malls and outdoor shopping are constantly changing. There has been a Bass Pro Shop in Leeds (basically Bham for years). There is also a North Face store in The Summit. There are many more stores in Birmingham that are not open in Augusta such as Saks Fifth Avenue. But, as far as the Whole Foods and what not, just because Birmingham has a larger population than Augusta that does not necessarily mean they have a larger population of people that can support high end retail. Just because you might have the population to support more than one Whole Foods it does not mean you have a population with the means to support two Whole Foods stores.

So, when you say Birmingham is a city that is envious of Augusta it comes off as hyperbole, unless you have data which supports this. If not we are both just making assumptions either way. Thus, the whole reasoning behind my original post.

countyman
19166
Points
countyman 03/20/14 - 03:17 pm
2
3
Cabelas= huge economic development!

How many people actually saw the number of citizens at the grand opening?

The state of Georgia will have over 10 million people by then. The Acworth location should be much larger considering metro Atlanta is home to 5 million people. The North Georgia location is the suburbs of Chattanooga and in close proximity of the northern suburbs of metro Atlanta. Only three locations in a state of 10 million people?

The outlet mall is coming here, because of the Cabela's.... The future announcements regarding the VAR will all rely on the daily traffic at Cabela's.. This will benefit the local economy in many different ways..

itsanotherday1
40463
Points
itsanotherday1 03/20/14 - 03:38 pm
9
2
Why?????????????

"A company spokesman estimated that 2,000 people had gathered in front of the 42,000-square-foot store shortly before the doors opened at 11 a.m."

It's a dang sporting goods store for heaven's sake! I just got home from giving a friend a ride home from the hospital, and stopped by Costco for gas. He wanted to ride by the Cabela's and asked me if I wanted to stop and browse. Not NO, BUT HE__ NO! I wouldn't fight that anthill of people if they were giving stuff away. What is it with people around here when something is new? A new restaurant opens and they will sit for an hour, waiting to eat. Not a restaurant in the world I will wait an hour for unless I'm extremely hungry and all of them have that kind of wait. I'd just as soon have a bologna sandwich.

Riverman1
79689
Points
Riverman1 03/20/14 - 04:01 pm
7
1
Where Were Customers From?

It's interesting where the customers interviewed were from.

bdouglas
4526
Points
bdouglas 03/20/14 - 04:34 pm
8
4
8 out of 10 people were not

8 out of 10 people were not there for a Cabela's grand opening. They were there because they were getting something FOR FREE. They lined up for hours, forsaking their jobs and other responsibilities, so they could get something free. Gift cards valued at $5 to $250 for the first 500 people, t-shirts and other free stuff for most of the rest. If Publix, Kroger or Walmart offered such well publicized free things at their grand opening, the lines would be just as long. I'm surprised there wasn't a tent in the parking lot handing out those free government cell phones.

If you read Countyman's consistently regurgitated thoughts, you'd think Michael Kors and H&M were the saviors of the city. Just like well over a year ago he was singing the praises of the Sprint Foods & Metro Market that would save downtown, but is still by all accounts a boarded up storefront. Urban Outfitters moving downtown? Maybe their call center, but not a store, that's for sure.

fedex227
10776
Points
fedex227 03/20/14 - 04:49 pm
6
3
What a bunch of debbie downers ...

man, if negativity were a virtue ...

countyman
19166
Points
countyman 03/20/14 - 05:18 pm
3
4
CBD

The Sprint Food Metro Market opens this year on Broad street...

''Sprint Food Stores Inc. will unveil its first local “Met­ro Market” concept down­stairs in the 851 Broad St. building by late spring or early summer, President and CEO Andy Jones said.''
http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/business/local-business/2014-02-20/hig...

The only areas in the CSRA with much better demographics compared to the CBD include West Augusta, North Richmond, Evans, Summerville, Martinez, Forest Hills, and Aiken.. The CBD or Medical District can easily compete against North Augusta over the next few years.. The 25 acre commercial development begins construction very soon in the Medical District.

nocnoc
38708
Points
nocnoc 03/20/14 - 07:48 pm
5
0
Great addition to the CSRA

Only a minor issue with them.
Having gotten a notice that their customers could come by for a Pre-Grand opening lookie. We were dismayed to find out it WAS ONLY IF YOU SIGNED UP for a Cabela’s Credit Card.

So we pass on it and left.

That additional information should have been more clear in the early sneak peek invite.

corgimom
28314
Points
corgimom 03/20/14 - 07:52 pm
1
8
Countyman, please show us the

Countyman, please show us the documentation that says other cities are envious of Augusta. You can't. Because they aren't. Birmingham AL couldn't care less what stores are in Augusta. Why would they, it's hundreds of miles away?

And H&M? A discount clothing store, who cares? It's not like they are selling anything different than the other low-end clothing stores.

Charlotte has 3 and will soon open a 4th. Nobody much cares. It's a store, just like any other. Nobody thinks we're "prestigious" or that anybody envies us.

As for a Container Store, they go into high-end malls- not malls like Augusta Mall, which caters to blue-collar and low to middle-income shoppers.

The products at the Container Store are expensive, and doesn't do much more than you can get with containers at Lowe's and Walmart and Target.

And then there's this- "The Bass Pro location is nice, but metro Augusta allows you to shop at the Cabelas in Richmond or the Gander Mountain in Columbia County."

Am I missing something here? People can shop at Gander Mountain in Columbia County? I thought it wasn't even built yet. When did Gander Mountain open, Countyman?

And who says that there's better shopping in Charleston and Greenville? Better compared to WHAT? Who decides what's "better"? What criteria do you use, Countyman?

nocnoc
38708
Points
nocnoc 03/20/14 - 07:53 pm
4
0
BTW: before too many rain on this parade

Cabela’s is a welcome addition.

It will attract other stores and competitors in the future.

the RC/CC location will allow a spread affect for Cabela’s and more will pop up along I-20/-95/-26 because of this now small store.

corgimom
28314
Points
corgimom 03/20/14 - 07:54 pm
2
5
I just don't see what the big

I just don't see what the big deal is with Whole Foods, we have them in Charlotte. You can get virtually the same things in the grocery stores and Walmart.

They are very expensive, and appeal to a niche market. 2 Whole Foods and a Fresh Market- I don't think there's enough business to support all 3, but we'll see.

Gage Creed
15812
Points
Gage Creed 03/20/14 - 08:17 pm
3
0
One would have to wonder the

One would have to wonder the space time continuum of the Sprint Foods Metro Market construction schedule.....

Riverman1
79689
Points
Riverman1 03/20/14 - 08:57 pm
5
0
There is room for Cabela's to

There is room for Cabela's to expand to one of their bigger traditional size stores if business is good as I think it will be.

countyman
19166
Points
countyman 03/20/14 - 09:12 pm
3
3
Retail

The Augusta mall is the most upscale mall in the state of Georgia outside metro Atlanta. The Augusta mall is nicer than many of the malls in metro Atlanta and much nicer compared to any mall in South Carolina except for Haywood in Greenville.

Nocnoc.. The entire Village at Riverwatch development is located in Richmond County. The Richmond/Columbia line along Riverwatch pkwy is between Furys Ferry and Baston road. The Carmax area formerly Wheeler Town Park is the development located in both West Augusta and Martinez.

corgimom
28314
Points
corgimom 03/20/14 - 10:22 pm
2
11
Who determines "nicer"? Have

Who determines "nicer"? Have you been to every mall in SC, Countyman, to make that declaration?

It is ok for you to say "In my opinion", but to state these very subjective things as facts is just plain wrong, unless you can back them up with facts.

The Augusta Mall doesn't have anything that I haven't already seen. I'm not impressed, and I don't think that it's necessarily nicer than others. When you look at who likes to hang out there as their home away from home, it is terrible, unless you enjoy shopping with thugs.

It is not an upscale mall by any means. The stores there are ones that cater to low to middle class shoppers, Countyman, and aren't anything special.

There isn't a store in the Mall that caters to the wealthy. Even the jewelry stores that are there are very middle of the road.

corgimom
28314
Points
corgimom 03/20/14 - 10:40 pm
2
8
But I am glad that something

But I am glad that something is coming to Augusta, because OVER SEVENTEEN THOUSAND PEOPLE in the CSRA is out of work!

corgimom
28314
Points
corgimom 03/20/14 - 10:45 pm
3
10
"The same few people have to

"The same few people have to remain negative all the time.."

Maybe we are just more sophisticated and more realistic than some.

I think it's ok that they are here, but it won't do much to change the dismal poverty figures or the unemployment figures, and Cabela's and Costco don't inspire chills within me. They are stores, selling the same basic things that you can get in other places.

But then, I hate shopping at malls and shopping is not a hobby or a pastime with me, as it is with some.

countyman
19166
Points
countyman 03/20/14 - 10:47 pm
2
4
Facts and not opinions

Many of the nicer stores in Charleston(Apple, H&M, etc) are located downtown on King street.. The only competition is the Haywood Mall in Greenville, because none of the malls in Columbia have Michael Kors, Apple, PF Changs, H&M, etc..

LeConteSkier
473
Points
LeConteSkier 03/20/14 - 11:50 pm
6
0
I-20 Corridor is Growing

Countyman, Target will open at the Grovetown exit soon enough. Evans was lightyears ahead of Grovetown when Target opened in Evans in 2004. About 2005 and 2006 is when Grovetown began to become the new trendy spot for people to move to. Pre 2005 Grovetown was mainly trailer parks, a few smaller neighborhoods and rural. Allot like Harlem is today. So in the mid 2000's, Grovetown would not have supported Target. Today is a whole different story. The growth has shifted from Evans to West in Grovetown and East in North Augusta. That is why Evans is not attracting major retailers anymore and they are instead opting to locate along the I-20 corridor so they can benefit from Augusta, Evans, North Augusta and Grovetown. I-20 is quickly transforming into a retail corridor similar to I-26 in North West Columbia. Costco got it started and now Cabelas then the Whole Food and Gander Mtn development. I am waiting for an REI announcement that will hopefully be next.

corgimom
28314
Points
corgimom 03/21/14 - 12:49 am
3
7
Maybe that's because nobody

Maybe that's because nobody is building malls any more, they are obsolete and have been for years. You think, Countyman?

Only in Augusta did they sink more money into their mall, the rest are moving away from them.

You seem to be very enthusiastic about malls, Countyman, but municipalities that are growing aren't putting stores in malls anymore. Do you not realize that? Charlotte hasn't built one in years and they are done. The outlet stores have been built, and will open soon, but the typical mall is now a dinosaur, and dying rapidly.

And good riddance.

corgimom
28314
Points
corgimom 03/21/14 - 12:54 am
1
5
Now, you want upscale- these

Now, you want upscale- these are just a very few of what's in South Park.

7 For All Mankind. Burberry. Cheesecake Factory. Cole Haas. Guess. Hermes.

And then I got tired of looking and I only got through the H's.

But I know that there's Nordstrom's and Neiman-Marcus and Saks and Tiffany and Co, and there's more than that.

THAT"S upscale.

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