Cabela’s opens for excited crowd of thousands in Huntsville

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-- Cabela's is now open in Huntsville, and management there estimates about 3,000 people came in within the first hour the doors were open.

The store is located at 7090 Cabela Drive NW, near the intersection of I-565 and Research Park Blvd.

"I got here around 3:30 or 4," said Larry Eller as he waited in line.

Other customers reported lining up a day before Cabela's actually opened its doors. The first 500 received gift cards valued up to $500.

"We got a $25 gift card and had a good time out in front," said Joe Akin.

That kind of crowd also comes with some traffic congestion. That's why Huntsville's Traffic Task Force had 12 units to monitor the flow of vehicles to the store.

"We ended up having to close Cabela Drive just because the parking lot was at capacity," said Sgt. John Vankempen of the amount of traffic at the store the morning of the grand opening. "But a lot of pre-planning, we had shuttle buses running back and forth to Bridge Street so that was helping out a lot."

Police ask you to be alert as you drive through to the store, and also as a pedestrian crossing the parking lot.

Inside the store, employees say the day went well.

"It's kind of cool that people come this far just to see this store," said Hunter Shell, who leads the archery department. "I think [today] set a pretty good tone for how the rest of the week goes. I mean, our outfitters are handling it just as good as you can ask. I think it's going to be a pretty fun week."

He added, the party doesn't stop on the day of the grand opening.

The festivities at the store go on all week-long, and there are giveaways each day through Sunday.