In The News

Cabela’s store in Rogers raring to open

ROGERS — Cabela’s Inc. of Sidney, Neb., which bills itself as the world’s foremost outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, last week offered a glimpse inside its new store in Rogers.
There was much to see, to the extent that the local chamber of commerce believes the store will become a tourist attraction in its own right.

An indoor archery range where shoppers can check out a bow before they buy.

A gun library that includes antique guns, some as old as 100 years, ranging in price from $200 to “thousands,” according to Wes Remmer, a Cabela’s spokesman who was guiding reporters through the new store, which is to open Aug. 30.

The “mountain,” one of the most popular places in the store, is where replicas of animals are displayed in a steep, rocky setting.
Hunting is the biggest chunk of the retailer’s business, Remmer said, followed by fishing, but that varies from market to market.
Dick and Mary Cabela founded the business in 1961 as a catalog operation in Chappel, Neb., selling hand tied flies for $1 per dozen. The Rogers outlet will open as the company’s 39th store, and the company now has stores from Maine to Arizona and Washington state.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Remmer said of the 100,000-square-foot Rogers store. “There are thousands of hunters and fishermen … in Northwest Arkansas.”

Cabela’s is a major competitor to Bass Pro Shops, which has 58 U.S. stores. The Springfield, Mo., company, started by Johnny Morris about 40 years ago, has announced plans to open its first Arkansas store by late next year. About 250 people will be hired at a 120,000-square-foot store adjacent to Gateway Town Center in southwest Little Rock, near Interstates 430 and 30.
Also, Bass Pro will open a store in the Memphis Pyramid that stands near the Interstate 40 bridge over the Mississippi River. Once the home of the Memphis Grizzlies basketball team, the vast building will house a 220,000-square-foot store, about the size of one of Wal-Mart’s larger supercenters. But that won’t come close to the one in the home base of Springfield, where the Bass Pro complex covers about 450,000 square feet.

Larry Whitely, a spokesman for Bass Pro, said the Bass Pro in the Pyramid will open next year, but the date has not yet been determined.

Bass Pro, which already has a store on Macon Road in Memphis, has a strong presence in the Southeast, the one region of the country where Cabela’s is largely absent.

Cabela’s has stores in Buda, Fort Worth and Allen, Texas, and in Gonzales, La., between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The company opened a store in Wichita, Kan., on March 14. It has one Missouri store in Hazelwood, in the St. Louis region, but no stores in Mississippi or Tennessee or points to the south and east of there.

At Cabela’s new store in Rogers, people not so much into hunting and fishing can visit the home/cabin section. It also will sell furniture, plus earrings, watches, necklaces and the company’s own line of fudge – 35 flavors.

“People who come into the store can satisfy their sweet tooth,” Remmer said.

Employment at the store, including full-time, part-time and seasonal workers, is projected to be about 225, said Chris Comer, store manager.

Comer said the community’s reaction to the new store has been positive.

“The level of excitement here is just off the charts,” he said. “I’ve just been overwhelmed with the enthusiasm.”
In addition to fishing and hunting gear, the Rogers store will sell boats, including Lowe, Alumacraft, Nitro and Stratos, and will operate a full-line boat-service center.

All-terrain vehicles also will be featured.

The opening of Cabela’s has drawn enthusiasm from Northwest Arkansas promoters.

“It’s kind of like winning the World Series twice in a row,” said Raymond Burns, president and chief executive officer of the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce. “It will pull customers from far away and will drive other retail sales. It’s a brand that’s well-known.”

Burns said the chamber has been working with Cabela’s “from almost day one.” The retail attraction will be a good complement to the lure of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, he said.

“Certainly it will influence how we market this area for people who come here for weekends,” Burns said.

Tom Ginn, vice president for economic development at the Bentonville-Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce, said he has visited the Cabela’s in Kansas City, Kan., and was impressed. He expects the store to draw shoppers from a 100-mile radius.
“These kinds of things help this region function. It’s like a tourism dollar. It’s a real coup to have that store in the region,” he said.
In July, Cabela’s announced plans to build a 43,000-square-foot Cabela’s Outpost store in Saginaw, Mich., to open next spring. It will be the company’s second small-format store.
It also has plans for a full size store to open next spring in Anchorage, Alaska.

Jon Hodaway, who runs Nighthawk Custom Training Academy in Centerton, said Cabela’s presence could be bad news for small gun stores in the region, such as Ozark Sportsman Supply in Tontitown, Ozark Armory in Springdale and GI Guns & Ammo in Rogers.

“They’re going to suck the water out of the pond around here,” he said.

Business, Pages 61 on 08/19/2012

Print Headline: Cabela’s store in Rogers raring to open

Industrial Space Vacancy Drops

Gary Smith was quoted in the Arkansas Busines publication this week. Check out what he had to say in regards to industrial vacancy rate drops… “With continued economic concerns in the industrial sector for large blocks, negotiations for these spaces have become more tenant friendly. The overall market in central Arkansas continues to remain strong compared with other areas.” ~ Gary Smith, Director of Business Development, Flake & Kelley Commercial

Main Street Reclamation Gains Momentum

Some structure resurrection work began along Little Rock’s Main Street in the first week of August.

The effort of local investors is a $20 million project to convert decades-vacant Blass store buildings into apartments and retail and office space at the corner of Fourth and Main streets. The project is slated to finish in June 2013.

The Blass Department Store was a major retailer in Little Rock for scores of years until Dillard’s bought it in 1964.

The project at Fourth and Main is one of several to spring up in that part of downtown Little Rock.

Sharon Priest, executive director of the Downtown Little Rock Partnership, said Scott Reed and other investors with Reed Realty Advisors in Portland, Ore., were the first in recent years to buy and begin rehabbing an old building on Main Street. The building that currently houses Porter’s Jazz Cafe at 315 Main St. is Reed’s ongoing project.

(Reed has had trouble finishing residential work he’s started in Little Rock. The Arkansas Development Finance Authority took ownership from Reed’s company of most of 30 residential properties because of a lack of renovation progress and some unpaid bills.)

Stephens Inc. also is converting the former federal exchange bank building at the corner of Capitol Avenue and Main Street into state offices for the Department of Higher Education, Priest said. A Stephens spokesman declined to answer questions.

“We’re starting to see some action happening, sort of like a 10-year overnight success,” Priest said. “We’re starting to see people make investments.”

Only one vacant Main Street building — the Donaghey Building — between Capitol Avenue and Sixth Street isn’t under contract with a buyer who has renovation plans, she said. She declined to share details of other pending projects.

To read the full article from Arkansas Business.

Industrial Space Vacancy Drops

Congratulations to Buckley O’Mell, broker at Flake & Kelley Commercial, on being named an Arkansas Business 2012 40 under 40 Honoree! to view Buckley’s profile to see what makes him an outstanding leader:

Retail / Urban Development – West Little Rock

Hank Kelley was invited to present “Retail / Urban Development – West Little Rock” to the Leadership of Greater Little Rock Class XXVII at the Clinton Center. to view Hank’s full presentation.