Cabela's, which opens its doors to the public at 11 a.m. Thursday, provides an additional draw for out-of-town dollars and another destination attraction to the tribes' bustling commercial complex along I-5. As such, its economic benefits will spread across the freeway into Marysville, as well as farther north and south. Sales taxes generated will boost county and state government coffers.
Indeed, the Tulalips' business success is the entire county's success.
Appropriately, tribal art and culture will be featured throughout the store, just the second Cabela's in Washington. Renowned Tulalip artist James Madison, along with other tribal artists, were commissioned to create works that will add a uniquely local feel to the chain outfitter's newest location.
Madison, whose sculpture and stained-glass work bring native culture alive throughout Snohomish County -- including downtown Everett, Everett Community College, the Tulalip Resort Casino and Hibulb Cultural Center -- will be displayed prominently at the new Cabela's. (Herald Writer Michelle Dunlop chronicled the steps involved in fabricating one of Madison's metal sculptures and a stained-glass piece in a front-page story Sunday.)
The cultural imprint was insisted upon by the business-savvy Tulalips, who have combined careful measures of boldness and patience in gradually creating a regional economic magnet. Tulalip has become more than a widely admired culture. It's also a respected brand.
Of course, the introduction of any discount retailer to a market can pose a threat to existing, smaller competitors. In the outdoor gear business, however, mom-and-pop operations have a critical edge in local experience and knowledge that allows them to stay abreast of changing conditions, offering the right items at the right time.
The most reliable advice on where they're biting will almost always be found at your local tackle store. That's why they have a loyal clientele that can't easily be snatched away. We're confident there's room in the Snohomish County market for a major outfitter like Cabela's and smaller retailers.
But this weekend will be all about big and new. Seasoned sportsmen will flock to the new Cabela's, and many will be from the Seattle area, Canada, and points in between. They'll be treated to all the outdoor eye-candy Cabela's is famous for, along with a stunning variety of native art.
We welcome them, and hope they'll return often to explore all Snohomish County has to offer.
Just don't forget the credit card.
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