The Last Frontier can now say it has a Cabela's store, after Thursday’s grand opening of the state’s first location of the outfitting chain in South Anchorage.
Customers at the store, on 104th Avenue just south of the Target department store on C Street, told Channel 2 Thursday afternoon that they were excited to be inside shopping. For the most part, visitors say they didn’t mind the crowds because they've been looking forward to Thursday’s opening for so long.
Typically, hitting the bullseye marks the end of a successful adventure -- but for shoppers at Cabela’s Thursday, an arrow used in the store’s ribbon-cutting marked the beginning.
“It's just like an event for guys in camo,” said shopper Mike Sexton. “It's just like Nordstrom's for women opening up -- we just come in here and do our thing.”
The Anchorage store, Cabela’s 53rd location in North America, was ground zero for a shopping frenzy Thursday.
“No more online, no more catalogs,” said Noel Cruz, the store’s lead archery outfitter. “We are here -- we are here.”
Both Cabela's and competing outfitter chain Bass Pro Shops have had massive big-box Anchorage stores in construction for much of last year. Cabela's is the first of the two stores to open, ahead of Bass Pro Shops' Glenn Square "Outpost" location off Mountain View Drive.
The 100,000-square-foot Cabela's comes with a grandiose display of North American game animals. Inside the building, shoppers will find more than 300 trophy mounts, including many prized Alaska animals.
Anyone who gets too distracted by the wildlife might miss out on the merchandise, however, with staff working hard Thursday to keep high-demand items like .22 ammunition in stock.
Cabela's staffers believe more than 8,000 people attended its opening day, with plenty more in store for the days and weeks ahead.
“This is just the beginning,” said marketing manager Carri Ann Pratt. “We've got lots of activities that are over the weekend and weekends to come; we'll have special education programs for kids, women and families.”
Cabela's store hours will be 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, as well as 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.