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Cabela's almost ready for Sept. 18 grand opening

With just over a week until the public unveiling, employees at Nyberg Rivers store are excited to invite everyone inside

Photo Credit: TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Cabela's Marketing Manager Shannon Jidas, left, and 'Camo Guy' Chadd McDowell have some fun during media day at the new store in Tualatin.A week into September, the countdown has truly begun for the grand opening of the Nyberg Rivers Cabela's on Sept. 18. Throughout the 100,000-square-foot “new generation” layout, one theme stands out: This is meant to be an experience, not just a store.

“We're ready to outfit people for whatever adventure they want to go on here in Oregon,” said marketing manager Shannon Jidas at Thursday's media preview event. “I'm most excited to open the doors and have people come and experience the store and experience what this is going to be like moving forward.”

The store, which provides jobs to 300 part- and full-time employees, pulled roughly 90 percent of its talent from Tualatin and the surrounding areas, said Jidas. This was done intentionally, and every outfitter was brought on because of a specific skill he or she brought to the team.

Photo Credit: TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Cabela's Fishing Manager Rob Epler practices in the new Tualatin store's archery range in anticipation of the ribbon target-shooting ceremony.“What's been really great is every single outfitter was brought in here because they're good at something outdoors,” she said. “They're experts. With my camping outfitters, they know exactly what tent to pick out because they camp the local forests. Our hunting outfitters, they hunt Mt. Hood, so they can tell you exactly where to go. It's really neat to have a lot of experts under one roof.”

The idea is that not only can avid backpackers walk in and receive knowledgeable service when finding the best gear for their weeks-long trip, but someone who's never camped before can walk in and get the same kind of help. Regardless of skill level, Jidas said they want everyone to feel comfortable coming in and getting help from the staff.

While Nyberg Rivers Cabela's put an emphasis on finding knowledgeable and local staff, extensive effort also went into making the physical store specific to Tualatin and the Pacific Northwest. Giant photos and maps of local state parks hang high on the wall, and taxidermy created by a local artist stand on “Conservation Mountain.” The mountain rests near the back wall of the store and is tall enough to require a craned neck to see the top. The animals on it are all native to North America, with an emphasis on the Pacific Northwest. To help keep the kids (and adults) entertained, an interactive screen allows visitors to scroll through and learn about the various animals. A few feet away, a meadowlark sits on a tree branch, an homage to Oregon's state bird.Photo Credit: TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Cabela's Marketing Manager Shannon Jidas talks about the interactive mountain display at the new store in Tualatin.

“It's not just a big box company, we really pay attention to the details and what our customers need,” Jidas said.

Even the Nyberg and Martinazzi families are tied into the building's design. Photos donated by the Tualatin Historical Society portray black and white images of the families who were integral in placing Tualatin on the path it's traveling today. Without the Nybergs, who own the very property Cabela's sits on, it's impossible to know whether this development would have happened at all.

And after months of construction, Cabela's is nearly ready for its public unveiling on Sept. 18. The ribbon will be cut at 10:45 a.m. (well, less of a cut and more of an arrow shooting), and doors open at 11 a.m. Jidas anticipates that won't be early enough for some enthusiasts, however, and it's expected that people will camp out the night before. All together, at least several thousand visitors are expected for the grand opening.

“We're just excited to get open and started,” said Jidas. “So much hard work has been put into this, so it's going to be really nice to open the doors and just show it off to everybody.”Photo Credit: TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Cabela's Fly Fishing Outfitter Craig Lusby wanders the aisles of the new Tualatin Store.

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