Cabela's 'will make Springfield a destination spot'

Cabela's 'will make Springfield a destination spot'

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - When the clock struck four, Cabela's first store in Oregon opened right on target with an arrow cutting the ceremonial ribbon.

"It's my 24th wedding anniversary, so me and my wife came up for the grand opening," said Daniel Tillotson of Central Point.

They weren't alone: at least 1,000 people attended the historic grand opening bringing a retailer that had previously been available only as catalog and online to Oregonians.

"This is my first time and I'm really excited about it," Charles Masterfield of Roseburg said.
    
But about two miles away, smaller businesses are relying on their own history to survive what could be seen as a battle between David and Goliath.

"We don't have the money to promote like they do," said Wayne Endicott, owner of the Bow Rack in Springfield, "but we're  still involved in the sport to the biggest level we can be."
    
Endicott said the story between Cabela's and his shop isn't what you would expect when a large superstore comes to town.

"I'm optimistic," he said, "because for one it will make Springfield a destination spot."

The owners of shops like the Bow Rack and Caddis Fly said between their establish history with the neighborhood and specialty goods, they see Cabela's as more of an asset than a threat.

"As far as equipment goes all our equipment is kind of the high end equipment that you can't buy there," Endicott said.

They said there's a sense of synergy between the superstore and local businesses that runs deeper than just their line of work to a love of creating memories in the outdoors. 

"I remember the smell of the campfire smoke on my clothes at the end of the day and I remember my first hunting trip," said John Castillo, a Cabela's spokesperson.