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First Look Inside New Tulalip Cabela’s

Editor’s note: Yesterday was the media’s first chance to get a look inside the new Cabela’s on the Tulalip Reservation. We dispatched Jason Bauer of Northwestwalleye.com for a look see. Here’s his report and pics.

By Jason Bauer

In case you haven’t made the drive north of Marysville on I-5 lately, a new store has popped up off to the west side of the interstate between Exits 200 and 202. And if you’re like me, you have been waiting for this store your whole life.

(JASON BAUER)

While the Tulalip Cabela’s grand opening is set to take place Thursday, April 19th, yesterday I was invited to attend a special media tour. I was excited to see what was behind the brown paper on the windows masking the view from the public.

I was greeted by Bob Banks from the fly fishing department; he would be my tour guide.

A few things I noticed right away included two 24-foot orca replicas chasing a school of salmon hanging from the ceiling in the entryway.

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Two inspiring murals painted by Chris Lacy of Reno are also very impressive.

Tribal artwork is displayed in several areas, including wood carvings created by local artists.

Bob explained that the Tulalip Cabela’s is the only store in the country that has a profound localized design motif — it is, of course, located on the Tulalip Reservation, and I have to say it’s worth the trip just to see the artwork.

COMPOSITE IMAGE SHOWING SOME OF THE DIFFERENT ARTWORK TO BE FOUND AT THE TULALIP CABELA'S. (JASON BAUER)

The Tulalip store is 110,000 square feet in size in a single level. It is roughly 40 percent smaller than the Lacey location, Washington’s first Cabela’s which opened in 2007. A third outlet is slated to open this fall in Union Gap. A fourth is just across the state line in Post Falls, Idaho.

As with other Cabela’s, the Tulalip shop features numerous trophy animals — here there are 220 mounts including elk, mountain goats, mule and whitetail deer, grouse, turkeys, bear, bobcat and much more.

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There are two-8,000 gallon aquariums — the coldwater tank will have trout by the time of the grand opening while shortly afterwards the warmwater one will feature largemouth and smallmouth bass, perch, bluegill, sturgeon and other species — a boat shop, Gun Library and Bargain Cave. The Eagle’s Nest Deli & Café will have 32 different types of fresh fudge available.

Then there are the many aisles of fun — fishing, hunting, home, camping.

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Umm, did I say fishing? The fishing department is actually larger than Lacey’s. With Tulalip located in the heart of the Puget Sound fishing country — saltwater, lakes, numerous river systems — hardlines manager Rod Rieder said the management team put extra emphasis on the department.

Rod explained they took a serious focus on Washington-based manufacturers. As Rod toured me up and down the well laid out fishing tackle aisles I could see Pautzke’s, Dick Nite and Qcove and many more local makers’ products.

A BOX OF YAKIMA BAIT COMPANY PRODUCT AWAITS STOCKING ON THE SHELVES. (JASON BAUER)

PANORAMA SHOT INSIDE THE FISHING DEPARTMENT. (JASON BAUER)

I got a chance to meet Dan Tollison, Gun Library manager. He explained that his department will have room for 112 long guns on the racks, and some high-end handguns in cabinets. Dan noted that roughly 80 percent of the guns in the library are purchased from customers. If you have a firearm and are interested in selling, bring it into the store and Dan will appraise it.

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Of course, I was like a kid in a candy store, and as my guide Bob explained, at Cabela’s, the motto is: We sell fun! I talked to about a dozen different employees, and they all mentioned how much fun it is working at Cabela’s. They are closing in on getting all the products in place for the grand opening.

(JASON BAUER)

That occasion will be marked by a unique ribbon cutting — an arrow fired from the bow of Cameron Hanes, the Oregon archer and extreme athlete, at 10:45 a.m. on the 19th. The doors will open to the public at 11:00 a.m.

A number of other events have been scheduled for the rest of the weekend. Check the store’s Web site for more details.

Only 22 more days to find my debit card that my wife has hidden!

IT'LL BE A WEE BIT BUSIER AT THIS INTERSECTION COME THE MORNING OF APRIL 19. (JASON BAUER)

Editor’s note: Grab a copy of the April issue of Northwest Sportsman magazine to check out the free giveaways for early-arriving customers on the 20th, 21st and 22nd, and learn about the three-day, four-night fishing trip to Ketchikan that Cabela’s will be giving away!