Cabela's 'Now Hiring' sign in front of the new store in Grandville.
GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) - Cabela's opening in Grandville will send economic ripples throughout West Michigan; Some business owners may benefit, but others are preparing to lose business.
Lakeshore sports stores don't have the flair to compete head-on with Cabela's, but at Lakeview Marine and Tackle, owner John Stillson says he's not too concerned about the Cabela's impact because he's got nearly four decades of experience. Stillson says that's something the big box stores can't offer.
Up U.S. 31 in Muskegon, Go Gear sells camping equipment and outdoor apparel. The store is about 30 minutes from Grandville.
"We have some cross-over product so it will affect us some," says store owner John Davidson. Davidson believes Cabela's wants to wipe his store off the map. "If it is Amazon or Cabela's or any of these big companies, their goal is to squash anyone or anybody in their way."
So more than ever, Davidson plans to keep his staff focused.
"Stay focus on what we know, focused on what we do, focused on the knowledge that we bring to the table."
In Montague, Mitch Johnson, the owner of Johnson's Great Outdoors says he and his customers will check out the new store.
"Everybody in this room will go down there and see Cabela's."
But Cabela's can't offer customers small town conversation, an old recliner to relax in, locally made lures, and up-to-the-minute information on what's biting and where.
"The average guy likes that kind of thing, you know? You know them by name," says Johnson.
Lakeshore stores may feel the Cabela's ripple but no one is closing up shop out of fear.
"I am not going to bash Cabela's, not at all. But buying local you are putting back into the community, you are buying from the community, that money stays in the community, and that is very important," says Johnson.