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Answer Man: Scheels tip has outdoors fans salivating

Dear Answer Man, where's the nearest Scheels store to Rochester? A lot of my outdoors-oriented friends are raving about the possibility that Scheels will be moving into Apache Mall.

They're in Eden Prairie, Mankato and Eau Claire, Wis., but every store is fairly different, and the Eden Prairie store, for example, has only clothing and shoes.

The last time I was in a Scheels store, it was a hardware store with some sporting goods, and I got a pair of hockey skates there. Now, it's a wide-ranging outdoors emporium that gives Gander Mountain, Fleet Farm, Cabela's and sportswear clothing stores (including department stores) some healthy competition.

Here's more:

They're in growth mode. Last spring they opened a 100,000-square-foot store in Cedar Falls, Iowa.


Scheels is privately owned and based in Fargo, N.D. The first store was in Sabin, Minn., southeast of Fargo-Moorhead.

There are 24 stores in 10 states, mostly in the Upper Midwest. The store in Sandy, Utah, is about 220,000 square feet in size, has more than 440 employees and a shooting range, a 16,000-gallon salt water aquarium and a Ferris wheel. To compare, the Cabela's store in Owatonna is 150,000 square feet.

The soon-to-be-available Sears store at Apache Mall is 133,000 square feet. The store's expected to close early next year. According to a story in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal , Apache Mall management has met with city officials to talk about knocking down the Sears auto center to make room for a two-story addition to accommodate Scheels.

A true 110-percenter

A loyal reader, Julie Podolske, sent this after my commentary Tuesday about drivers who creep up to intersections, waiting for the light to turn, and other eccentricities that you see on your daily commute.

"Dear Answer Man, I just wanted you to know, I do read your column 110 percent of the time as you requested in last night's magnificent edition.

"Just a thought on the slowing down for a green light: With so many people these days running red lights and seeing the proof of it at many intersections, I would say, people who slow down for green lights are just being cautious, looking both ways before proceeding. Better slow than sorry."

I completely agree with the "better slow than sorry" theory — just don't go so slow or brake in a weird, unexpected way, in which case you'll cause more mayhem than you avoid. This type of driving used to be called "Sunday driving," but now it seems available seven days a week.


FYI, as I mentioned to Julie in my thank-you note for her email — next year, I'll expect that you read my column 115 percent of the time.

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