Hundreds gathered and waited as the new Cabela’s store opened in Kalispell Thursday morning.
It's the company's 50th shop, and the second one in Montana. The other is located in Billings, and a soon to be third location was recently announced for Missoula.
"I've been here 14 or 15 hours in the cold and the snow waiting for the store to open,” said Jeremy McIntyre. He waited all night in line for the grand opening.
His friend Scott Thomson was the first person to arrive.
"We set up a tent and everything,” said Thomson. “At first we thought we were just going to stay out on just sleeping bags on the ground, but it got cold."
The new 42,000-square-foot store created 150 new full-time, part-time, and seasonal jobs for the Flathead.
Cabela’s spokesman Wes Remmer says the company is very satisfied with its choice to open a Cabela’s in Kalispell.
"We're blown away by the support we've had here in Kalispell really from day one,” Remmer said. “The community has opened us with open arms and today was the big day where we saw that payoff and to see the hundreds and hundreds of people in line despite the snow and cold weather means the world to us."
Just across the street from the new Cabela’s is Sportsman & Ski Haus, a similar business that has been at its location on Hutton Ranch in Kalispell for about seven years. While they understand that their business may hurt a little bit due to the opening, they feel that they're stronger in some departments and that Cabela’s too should be worried about them being open across the street.
"I know that they look across the street at us too and hope that they can survive competing with us,” said Kyle Joos, the store manager of Sportsman & Ski Haus.
Joss says that they plan on expanding and adding new departments to the store. He's confident in their future.
"We feel like we can compete with Cabela’s very well and we really believe that it's going to bring even more people to the valley for destination shopping,” said Joss.