Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cabela's = Adventure

Oddly enough, the adventure days that I take my kids on will sometimes step away from the traditional museums, planetariums, parks, etc., and we will go and spend an hour or two at a store. That's right! A place where they try to sell you stuff. Now, I'm not talking about taking my kids to a Super Walmart for the day. I'm referring to truly exceptional stores- places that are not just for selling things, but are a destination by themselves. Cabela's is one of those mind-blowing stores.

Cabela's calls themselves the "World's Foremost Outfitter," and of that I have no doubt. If you want to do something in the outdoors, from your backyard to hunting or fishing in the mountains, Cabela's probably has what you need. Their selection of products is mind-boggling. But, what sets Cabela's apart, and makes it a destination for an adventure day are the displays and attractions all over the store.

When you first walk into the Cabela's in Lehi, you are immediately overwhelmed by everything. Straight in front of you is Conservation Mountain, dominating the store by its sheer two and a half story height and the stuffed animals that are all over it. From moose to polar bears, snakes to wolves, nearly every kind of North American animal you can think of is represented on the mountain. It even has a small waterfall, tumbling into a small pond at the base of the mountain that is filled with live trout. My little boy howled with laughter at the Prairie Dog that was stuck head first in its burrow, legs and tail straight up in the air. It took us nearly an hour to look at Conservation Mountain.

Just when you think there couldn't be more, there is. The aquariums, which are really the floor to ceiling walls of a hallway that you walk through, are breathtaking. Trout, catfish, and fish I'd never seen or could even hope to name are swimming all around you. I'd like to try and catch a fish here, but I'm afraid my pole would snap in half due to the size of those monsters.

Don't miss the African exhibit near the back of the store, with animals that you might not even see in a zoo. There is also the exhibit of animals that inhabit the Rocky Mountain region, complete with an animatronic camper sitting in front of his tent, telling you interesting facts about the Utah outdoors.

Upstairs is a shooting gallery, where for a few quarters, you and the kids can shoot at targets, that when hit, will make animals move, buckets tip over and other funny things happen (the targets are activated by light- no actual ammunition). There is also a deli style restaurant and a general store where you can get all kinds of candy, fudge, jerky and more. Look up and you'll see an actual bush plane suspended overhead, like it's flying over Conservation Mountain.

It may seem a bit strange to head to a store for an adventure, but Cabela's redefines what a store is.

Place: Cabela's (Lehi, Utah)
Location: 2502 West Grand Terrace Parkway, Lehi
Phone: 801.766.2500
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Holiday and winter hours may be different, call for times.
Cost: FREE (all exhibitions, shooting gallery is extra)

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Distance from:
Salt Lake City: 25.8 miles
Ogden: 61.2 miles
Provo: 20 miles
Logan: 106 miles


Dan Abston said...

Hi Drew,
Excellent post on Cabela's. In fact, I recently chose Cabela's for a PR project in graduate school (WVU IMC program). Cabela's spends a significant amount of money creating an amusement park (store) for outdoor enthusiast - like the store near my hometown in Wheeling, WV. If you ever decide to travel east for adventure, please feel free to contact me or respond to my blog at http://segment-specific-media.blogspot.com/

Again, thanks for sharing!


Drew said...

Thanks for the comment Dan. I think you chose the right words when you said "amusement park." It is absolutely amazing to see what happens to a retail environment when the retailer chooses to make a strong commitment to making a store a fun experience for everyone.