10/14/2013 8:34:00 AM SLAM DUNK: Sporting goods store opening draws 340
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
People file into Dick’s Sporting Goods in Prescott Valley to check out the opening day deals early Friday morning.
Ken Hedler Special to the Review
Shoppers greeted the grand opening of the newest - and perhaps largest - sporting goods store in the quad-city area Friday by camping out overnight.
And when Dick's Sporting Goods opened at 8 a.m., a total of 340 people were waiting in line, said Philip Birkbeck, community marketing manager based out of Phoenix. It became Dick's seventh store in Arizona and first in Northern Arizona, covers 35,000 square feet and has 50 employees.
Dick's, located immediately west of Sam's Club at the Prescott Valley Crossroads shopping center at 5715 E. Highway 69, lured customers by giving free "mystery" gift cards ranging from $5 to $500 for the first 100 in line.
Lynn Louie, who works in retail for a big-box store and lives in Prescott, said she had been waiting a long time for another sporting goods store.
Louie said she arrived at 8:30 a.m. because she waited for her son, Leslie, to get off work.
"And he's buying a gun," said Louie, who sought to buy a box of ammunition and was among more than 40 people waiting in a checkout line before 9 a.m.
Ammo lured Lynn Schmidt of Humboldt and her family to Dick's. They arrived at 6:30 a.m. and headed home two hours later.
"It was a long wait to get in line for ammo," said Schmidt, a caregiver. She said store employees limited them to one box of ammo.
Like the Schmidts, Cindy Cooley, a state employee who lives in Paulden, arrived at 6:30 a.m. She showed up with family members to buy running shoes and socks, and returned around 9 a.m. because her son, Quinten, had a few hundred dollars to spend for his 15th birthday.
"He's buying running shoes and socks and sweatpants," Cooley said about her son, who plays football at Prescott High School.
Brandon Apolinar, a framer who lives in Williamson Valley, said he arrived around 8:30 a.m., not knowing that the store opened 30 minutes earlier.
"I just came to see the selection," he said. "It's nice to see another sporting goods store in town. It's kind of like Cabela's."
The owner of a Prescott sporting goods store said he sees a need for Dick's and does not see the chain store as a threat. "We are more camping and backcountry," said Dave Wheeler, who opened Manzanita Outdoor seven years ago at Frontier Village and is now at the Albertsons shopping center off Sheldon and Montezuma streets. "I am sure there is definitely some overlap," Wheeler said. However, he said he has lived in the community for 25 years and believes his customers "are going to continue to respond" because Manzanita Outdoor offers product knowledge and customer service.
The grand opening at Dick's will continue from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.