If you like to hunt, fish, hike, or camp, you’re probably familiar with Cabela’s. But right now, the closest Cabela’s store is in West Virginia. The company announced Wednesday that that's about to change.
Cabela's is buying 20 acres in Fort Mill, just off of I-77 near Carowinds, where it plans to build a new store.
The company—sort of a hybrid of Bass Pro Shops, REI, and L.L. Bean—has earned a reputation for its massive stores, where it displays outdoor equipment alongside aquariums, indoor mountains, waterfalls, and taxidermy installations. Company spokesman Wes Renner says the Fort Mill location will be no different.
"Eessentially we try to recreate the outdoors inside our store,” he explains.
They’ll have plenty of space to do that, over 97 thousand square feet—that’s the size of two football fields, if you don’t include the end zones. Renner says there will also be an indoor archery range, a gun library that displays antique firearms and a deli and fudge shop.
The property Cabela’s is buying includes the Plaza Fiesta mall and a fireworks store, which will be torn down. After it opens, Cabela’s plans to sell five or six lots on the property to restaurants and other retailers. York County’s Economic Development director Mark Farris says the store could be a seminal development for the area:
"And it also, I believe will transform that intersection, the 'gateway entrance,' I believe, into York County and South Carolina,” he says.
He also points out that Cabela’s plans to create about 200 jobs, including part-time and seasonal workers.
The store should be open in the spring of 2015. It’s part of an ambitious expansion plan. Cabela's has 50 retail stores in the U.S. and plans to open 20 more over the next two years. The company's Greenville, S.C. store is set to open this coming spring.