Carson grad back to run mall outlet |

Carson grad back to run mall outlet

John Barrette
Katy Gay poses Monday at Sportsman's Warehouse.
John Barrette / |

A former Carson City resident will manage Sportsman’s Warehouse in Carson Mall when it opens in April and she begins her seventh year with the outdoor outfitter.

Katy Gay, a 2006 Carson High School graduate, is doing a juggling act as she works at the Reno Sportsman’s Warehouse and immerses herself in preparing for a grand-opening event April 5 in the capital city. That will come on the first Saturday of that month and the third Saturday of spring, following what retailers call a soft opening for the outlet planned for Monday, March 31.

Gay has her management team in place, but starts the process of seeking more than 30 employees now.

“Today, actually, I’m going to post the open positions online,” she said during a Monday interview at the 89,000-square-foot Reno store she currently manages. People seeking such retail jobs with the new Carson City outlet can go to and click on employment at the bottom to learn more.

The Carson City store will be about 41,000 square feet, which means that some extras, like a turkey hunting section in the Reno store, won’t be in the Carson Mall outlet. But there will be plenty of hunting, fishing, camping, footwear and clothing selections, along with other gear, according to Gay.

Born in Reno, Gay moved with her family to Nevada’s capital in 1993, when she was 5, and took her schooling here until graduating from high school. She said that while in high school, she particularly enjoyed culinary courses and still loves to cook. Gay returned to her native city after graduating to attend the University of Nevada, Reno, abd also worked in retailing to help defray expenses.

She began at a Birkenstock store in the Reno Town Mall, but by age 19 she had moved on to Sportsman’s Warehouse and began in footwear there. She also has worked in the office there and in camping.

Gay said she and her colleagues love their work, in many cases because it dovetails with their outdoor interests. She said many of them hunt, fish, camp and spend scads of free time at such pursuits “because it’s their passion.” She is no exception, enjoying fishing and other outdoor activities with her finance, John Crabtree.

She and Crabtree are planning to wed later this year, so 2014 will keep her busy.

Regarding hiring and related preparations, after the online window that started Monday she plans a hiring weekend event March 1-2 at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Carson City. She said the hours each day that weekend will be 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. to find people for open positions. She is bringing department managers with her from her store and a couple of others from other Sportsman’s Warehouse outlets.

Departments, she said, include camping/gift bar, clothing/footwear, fishing, hunting lead, assistant hunting manager, archery lead and office manager.

The Carson Mall outfitting store, which will anchor the mall as the largest tenant, will offer various outdoor gear brand names and the Sportsman’s Warehouse line of Rustic Ridge clothing, footwear and camping items, Gay said. She said Rustic Ridge also will get into providing some hunting items, though it is uncertain whether it also eventually will include fishing gear.

“We’re a hunting-dominated store, really,” she said about the Sportsman’s Warehouse chain of nearly 50 outlets. She said the second-most sought-after items often are in the camping section, though she added the Utah-based chain stresses smart wholesale buying and regionalized selling designed to suit each market’s needs and customer preferences. She also said her approach will be to serve the community by becoming part of it.

“We want to make a big impression on the community, and be a big part of the community,” she said as she looked forward to the store’s opening week March 31-April 5.