A promise made is a promise kept - at least for Cabela's

Bass Pro Shops might have bailed on its plan to build a store in Augusta, but anyone who has driven out Riverwatch Parkway lately can see that Cabela’s is holding true to its word.


Barely six months after the Nebraska sporting goods retailer announced a 42,000 square foot “outpost” store at the Village at Riverwatch development, the wood-and-stone building is nearing completion in advance of a March 20 grand opening.

Even before the shelves are stocked, it already appears Cabela’s made a wise investment in choosing Augusta for its first Georgia store.

Just last week, plans were unveiled for a $150 million, 400,000 square-foot outlet mall next door that will draw traffic from across the region – and which will be accessible from nearby Interstate 20.

Virtually all Cabela’s stores feature an array of firearms, fishing equipment and outdoor gear. The Augusta store will have added features including wildlife displays, innovative digital signage, an indoor archery range and archery tech room and more.

The store is also close to one of the region’s most popular outdoor recreation areas: the Augusta Canal, which might generate more interest from visitors to the sporting goods store and outlet mall.

Past discussions have centered around creating a boardwalk or trail that could offer Village at Riverwalk visitors access to the man-made waterway, and possibly even a landing where Petersburg tourboats could dock.

Although most folks think of Cabela’s as a catalog store, a check of their Web site shows it is an ambitious and rapidly expanding walk-in retailer, with 46 existing U.S. stores, four more in Canada – and 20 “announced” stores such as the one in Augusta.

The company traces its roots to 1961 when Dick Cabela bought some fishing flies at a furniture show in Chicago and placed classified ads to sell them through the mail from his home in Chappell, Nebraska.

“In the beginning, Dick and (his wife) Mary ran the business from the kitchen table of their home in Chappell,” the company explains on its Web site. “By 1964, continued success and growth demanded a bigger and better location. In 1969, Cabela’s was operating in a 50,000 square-foot vacant John Deere building in neighboring downtown Sidney, Nebraska.”

Today, the publicly traded company is operated from a 250,000-square-foot headquarters in Sidney and distributes mail order catalogs to 125 countries. Its total employment is nearly 15,000.

And as you can see if you drive along Riverwatch Parkway, they keep their promises.


YELLOW PERCH: One of the area’s best winter fishing opportunities is passing us by due to high, fast flows in the Savannah River.

Typically, mid-January through early February offers fabulous opportunties for yellow perch below Thurmond Dam and downstream to Augusta.

This year, according to my fishing friends, the current is so strong that it’s almost impossible to keep bait stationary near the bottom, which is where yellow perch prefer to feed.

I’m hoping for slower currents and a fishing trip very soon.


HUNTING FOR HISTORY: The 17th annual Johannes Kolb Archaeology and Education Project will be March 10-15 and March 17-21 at Great Pee Dee Heritage Preserve, a 2,725-acre preserve in Darlington County owned and managed by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

On Saturday, March 15, the public is invited to tour the excavations at the Johannes Kolb Site. There will be a host of demonstrators at the site for the March 15 public day. Numerous time periods when people lived at the Kolb site will be represented including: 18th century Native Americans and European colonists; late 19th century African-American sharecroppers; and demonstrations of primitive skills (stone tools, friction fire and aboriginal cookery).

Excavations will take place March 10-15 and March 17-21. Someone will be on site every day from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. to talk with students and visitors. School groups wishing to visit may contact Sean Taylor, S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Heritage Trust archaeologist, at (803) 734-3753 in Columbia or by e-mail at TaylorS@dnr.sc.gov.

For more about the site check: http://38da75.com/.



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