Acworth — A national retailer of fishing, hunting and other outdoor gear announced plans to open one of its first two Georgia locations near Acworth, bringing 200 jobs.
The Sidney, Neb.-based sporting goods retailer Cabela’s Inc. is set to begin construction this fall in its Acworth store on Highway 92 at Interstate 75 and hopes to open by fall 2014, said Nathan Borowski, spokesman for the retailer. The 100,000-square-foot store is planned to be the first in the Cherokee Village commercial development being developed by Majestic Realty.
Borowski said the 200 jobs with Cabela’s will be a mix of full-time, part-time and seasonal positions all in the management and sales areas. The company has not yet announced when hiring will begin, but Borowski said pay would be “competitive” with other retail stores of this type.
Cabela competes in the multi-billion dollar outdoor recreation market with chains such as Gander Mountain and Bass Pro Shops.
Cabela’s has kept a watchful eye on Georgia for years, looking for the right location to set up shop, but finally selected Acworth thanks to its strategic location in metro Atlanta and strong retail market, Borowski said.
“The Acworth area is already a big draw to customers for a number of reasons,” Borowski said. “And we fully expect to add to that draw.”
Another factor leading Cabela’s and other companies to this spot in the southwestern corner of Cherokee County, just over the Cobb County line, is likely its location on the edge of one of the county’s two opportunity zones, said Misti Martin, president of the Cherokee County Office of Economic Development. New businesses moving into these areas enjoy a state tax credit of $3,500 per full-time employee every year for their first five years in business, Martin said Thursday.
Martin said the tax breaks are a “huge driver for companies looking at Cherokee.”
And once businesses like Cabela’s come, Cherokee benefits from the dollars they bring in, she said.
Cherokee County Commissioner Jason Nelms, who represents District 4 where Cabela’s is building, agreed Thursday that the store will draw dollars to southwest Cherokee.
“This is going to be a huge, huge, huge positive,” Nelms said. “The southwest portion of the county needed a good anchor.”
Nelms said Cabela’s might serve as that anchor, bringing other development to the opportunity zone.
“It’s going to spawn off other high-end retail,” the commissioner said. “A lot of retailers follow Cabela’s around.”
Cherokee Board of Commissioners Chairman Buzz Ahrens agreed.
“They draw a number of other retailers that fit the Cabela’s shopper profile,” Ahrens said Thursday. “This is absolutely terrific news.”
Besides retailers who set up in Cabela’s shadow, Borowski said the chain has a loyal customer-base following them.
“A lot of our customers now drive hours to come visit our stores,” he said. “This means increased business for local restaurants, hotels, other shopping centers and malls.”
Martin too said she was hopeful the store will spur business for other companies in this area, which she calls the “gateway” to Cherokee from Cobb County.
“We are excited about today’s announcement and look forward to working with Cabela’s to see this project through to the grand opening,” Martin said.
With another Georgia location being constructed in Augusta, Cherokee’s Cabela’s is set to be the larger of the two and will be designed to offer customers an “outdoor-like experience with museum-quality wildlife displays,” the company said in a release Thursday.
The experience will include a large replica of a mountain, a gun library, boat shop, indoor archery range and a deli and fudge shop.
Cabela’s, founded in 1961, went public in 2004 with shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CAB.”