Carson Mall’s new Bealls family apparel store attracted shoppers Thursday who enjoy grand openings and wanted a new department store in Carson City.
The opening also attracted dignitaries and those just curious to check out the chain store that fills the mall’s second anchor slot in about 25,000 square feet of space that used to house part of a larger Gottschalks department store. Gottschalks left it vacant due to bankruptcy and the recent recession. Sportsman’s Warehouse, a Utah-based outfitter chain, opened in about 40,000 square feet of that space this month.
“I like grand openings,” said Dolores Crowell of Carson City, who said her last name was spelled the same way as is Mayor Robert Crowell’s. She was first in line to enter the store after an 8:45 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony not far away, one in which the mayor helped Kessn Fitton, Bealls’ store manager, wield large scissors to complete the task. Fitton said she came from Idaho but has moved to Carson City.
The mayor also presented a proclamation welcoming Bealls and signed by Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, as well as a certificate from him and the city’s Board of Supervisors. Gil Yanuck, representing the city’s Chamber of Commerce, brought a framed chamber certificate welcoming Bealls to the community. Bealls also has Nevada stores in Winnemucca and Mesquite.
Meanwhile, the woman who headed the line waiting through the ceremony for the store’s doors to open said she was looking forward getting a free tote bag while checking out the store’s merchandise. Right behind her, holding down the second spot in line was Marilyn Baxter, also from Carson City. She said she missed Gottschalks.
“We need another store,” she said.
The varioius dignitaries on hand included both supervisors and representatives of the mall. Francis Carrington, owner of the Carrington Co. which runs the mall, and Joanne Holmes, his company’s property manager, were on hand.
Along with Yanuck, chairman of the chamber, representing that business organization were immediate past president Stan Jones, first vice chairman Terrie McNutt, and Ronni Hannaman, the executive director.
Hannaman after the store opened took note of the crowd that had lined up and was streaming in, remarking that it was mostly female and the crowd early in April for the Sportsman’s Warehouse grand opening had been mostly male.
Between those two openings was the quieter start of service at Francisco’s Mexican restaurant on the east side of the mall near Paul Schat’s Bakery. It is the second Francisco’s; the first is operated in Minden. Paul Schat’s and Francisco’s here both face the Stewart Street side of the mall at 1345 S. Carson St., while Bealls opens on the Carson Street side.
Sportsman’s Warehouse to the south of Bealls has openings on both sides; Bealls’ main opening faces the street, but it also has an entry from inside the mall.
Bealls is part of the Stage Stores Inc., chain of retail outlets based in Houston. The chain operates 218 Bealls stores and about 850 retail outlets overall in 40 states under several names.