Hundreds of shoppers packed into Gander Mountain Tuesday. The outdoor store opened it's doors in Northwest Albany, much to the delight of many outdoor enthusiasts who lined up early to be the first inside.
"The area needs something like this. I'm getting ammo," said Laura Dziubin. She was one of the first in line. A hunting enthusiast, her shopping list was already prepared.
When the clock struck 8:00 the doors opened. We got a look inside the store which is packed to the gills with outdoor goods. The Minnesota based store is the second of it's kind of Georgia. And a welcomed addition to a growing northwest Albany.
Store manager George Kokinda says Gander Mountain has about 70 employees at the Albany store. That's good news for the local economy and an area that heavily invests in hunting and fishing. "It's a great response. We've got great people that we've hired on board that have a lot of outdoor experience and they're going to be able to get everyone outfitted with what they're looking for," he said.
Economic development officials think the outdoor store will also be a big draw for people from around the region. "From some of the other big box stores we have here we find a lot of people drive to Albany to do their shopping. It's good to see this retail activity reemerge in Albany," said EDC President Ted Clem.
And the opening day crowd a good indication of positive economic growth. EDC officials say Gander Invested around $2.5 million to set up shop in Albany. It's open from 8 to 9 Monday through Saturday and 9 to 8 on Sunday.