Scheels All Sports is expecting a crowd of In-N-Out burger-like customers when the outdoor gear, sporting goods and apparel store opens on Saturday at 9:00 am on the north side of Colorado Springs.
The Scheels is located at the InterQuest Marketplace, northeast of Interstate 25 and the InterQuest Parkway. In-N-Out debuted its first restaurant in Springs in the nearby Victory Ridge settlement in November, where thousands of customers showed up and automobiles were more than a mile long in the early morning and lengthened as the day wore on.
“I don’t even think what they had is going to be anywhere near what we’re going to have,” said Scheel’s store manager Cory Tweden, who said Colorado Springs police will be on hand to check the traffic Saturday and Sunday to control a presence that is paid for by the retailer.
No matter who wins boastful rights for the largest audience on opening day, why is Scheels attractive?
The North Dakota-based retailer calls its huge stores an “experience,” not just another place to buy outdoor and sporting goods.
In Colorado Springs, Scheel’s two-story, 220,000 square foot store – about the size of a Walmart Supercenter – will sell fashion, sportswear, and shoes. Hunting, fishing and camping equipment; Cycles; Golf, soccer, basketball and other sporting goods; and sports and fitness products, including merchandise.
Scheels prides itself on being able to offer a variety of amenities to customers who want to spend several hours in the store. They include:
• A 65 foot tall Ferris wheel with 16 cars in the center of the store is perhaps Scheels’ most famous attraction. For $ 1, customers can enjoy a 10-minute ride and take a look at the entire store. However, Tweden said the ferris wheel will not open on Saturday. In order to meet the capacity constraints for COVID-19, Scheels will limit the number of customers in the store to 1,200 at any given time, Tweden said. Since social distancing could be difficult for customers standing on the Ferris wheel line, the attraction will remain closed at least until Monday, he said.
• A 16,000 gallon saltwater aquarium where full-time divers feed fish and maintain the facility.
• A 35-foot, 20,000-pound mountain of wildlife with more than 200 taxidermy-preserved animals.
• Interactive and arcade games.
• A coffee shop and a coffee shop that serve soups, sandwiches and drinks.
• A candy store with more than 100 items including hand-dipped chocolates and caramel apples.
The Springs site will be Scheels’ 29th and the second in Colorado. Another store is in Johnstown, north of Denver. Scheels has stores in 13 states.
Employee-owned Scheels has hired 415 employees for its Colorado Springs site, Tweden said. Most were hired locally, although around 60 were brought into the springs from the chain’s other stores.
Scheels is the only game in town that offers outdoor equipment and sporting goods. In 2013, Bass Pro Shops opened in the Polaris Pointe retail complex a few miles north of Scheels. Mountain Chalet, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sportsman’s Warehouse, REI, and Big 5 Sporting Goods are among the local, regional, and national brands that also sell sporting goods, apparel, and other items that appeal to outdoor enthusiasts.
Scheels’ opening lasted more than two years and was not without controversy.
Colorado Springs City Council granted the retailer a $ 16.2 million sales tax break in 2019, based on estimates that the economic impact of the business could amount to $ 1.5 billion over 25 years.
Some InterQuest Marketplace companies have complained over the past year that Scheels will receive special treatment in the form of additional incentives from a business improvement district that covers the mall. The district was founded by the InterQuest Marketplace developer, Nor’wood Development Group, of Colorado Springs.
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