By Elizabeth Stitt
A flock of stuffed Canadian geese hang from the ceiling as hundreds of eager shoppers enter the store. Upon entering the store, shoppers are greeted by a 45,000-gallon aquarium and a gun library.
Cabela?s, a hunting, fishing and outdoor gear retail store, recently opened in Lehi. The outdoor store has several attractions including a 30-foot conservation mountain replica and a 12,000-square-foot wildlife museum. To accommodate a wide variety of interests, the store also has a laser arcade, furniture department, restaurant, general store and fly-fishing shop.
This is the first location of a Cabela?s store west of Nebraska.
Cabela?s chose Utah for a store because it has a strong culture of outdoor participation, said John Castillo, Cabela?s marketing manager.
?I think it?s a great addition to our community because we are so heavily involved in the outdoor industry,? said Barbara Lindeman, assistant teaching professor in the Recreation Management and Youth Leadership Department.
Most Cabela?s stores follow a similar format, but since this is the first location in the Western United States, it has local animal displays. The store displays hundreds of shoulder and life-size mammals, skins and fish. Conservation Mountain includes mountain goats, mountain lions, antelope, coyotes, elk, wolves and deer.
While the store is geared for hunting and fishing enthusiasts, it also offers men?s and women?s casual clothing, footwear, gifts and many other outdoor products.
But aside from retail sales, it?s products and employees will also be a resource to students and the local community.
The employees are experts in their various fields in order to best serve customers.
?At other stores, we have hosted many different classes, such as biology classes to work and study aquariums,? Castillo said. ?We?ve had art classes come to sketch the mountain in the museum. We?ve also hosted marketing classes to learn about our multi-channel business.?
?I think they?re going to have resources for the outdoor industry, not only for the products they sell, but the people who work for them have backgrounds in different types of outdoor business or recreation industries,? Lindeman said.
Ramon Zabriskie, associate professor of Therapeutic Recreation, has visited other Cabela?s stores and enjoys their resources and prices. When he takes his family on vacation, they stop by the nearest Cabela?s. ?It?s almost like an attraction in and of itself. It?s a destination,? he said.