Leary said the chain's retail experts also modified the fishing-tackle inventory to reflect local tastes.
"We found out that a lot of people in the area are really into muskie fishing, so we increased our inventory in that area," he added.
Cabela's officials also expanded the fly-fishing and fly-tying inventory after they discovered that Charleston is home to one of the nation's largest Trout Unlimited chapters.
Wherever possible, the store's designers paid tribute to the store's West Virginia location. For example, a mural reminiscent of the state's mountain highlands serves as the backdrop for the store's display of trophy white-tailed bucks. The store's deli and fudge shop -- where customers will be able to purchase bison, wild boar or smoked elk sandwiches as well as several varieties of fudge -- is called Sugar Maple Café in honor of the official state tree.
About 200 people have been hired to staff the store, and Leary said more would be hired before it opens.
"I don't know where the top end [for staff size] is," he added.
Roughly 60 percent of the employees are local. Leary said the remaining 40 percent were brought in from Cabela's 35 other stores.
"A lot of people wanted to transfer here," Leary said. "This store was a hot commodity within the Cabela's system. The Wheeling store has a great reputation among company employees, and people figured Charleston would be a lot like Wheeling."
The Charleston facility extended the Cabela's corporate footprint farther into the southeast portion of the country than it's been before.
"We think this store has the potential to draw people from as far away as North Carolina and eastern Tennessee," Leary said. "We think people down there will be curious to find out what Cabela's is about, and we think some of them will be willing to drive three or four hours to shop here once they know we're open."
Leary expects the local clientele to be huge, especially in the weeks immediately after the store's Aug. 9-12 grand opening.
"Our people have already met with Charleston and South Charleston police to coordinate traffic flow. We've made a number of contingency plans. If there's a way to improve the flow and make it better for our customers, we will," he said.
Leary, a Clarksburg native, said he personally feels excited to help open a store in his home state.
"It's definitely exciting to offer something like this to the folks who live around here," he said. "These are salt-of-the-earth people, and they deserve to have the a place like this to shop for their outdoor gear."
Reach John McCoy at johnmc...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1231.