C-A-L Ranch store opens in Carson City
Friday morning was exactly what Gus Mohr hoped it would be.
His shop, C-A-L Ranch, had a packed parking lot for its grand opening and it was more than just the curious filling the spaces: Around 11:30 a.m., checkout lanes were full and flowing with shopping carts full of goods.
“We’re getting jammed up here and people are really buying stuff,” Mohr, the store manager, said, adding, “This is kind of what you hope for.”
Mohr has been in town since February prepping for Friday, when the ribbon-cutting for the shop at 2035 N. Carson St. was held. It sells Western-themed goods, including items such as camouflage gun cases to baby chicks, but is for more than just the ranchers, CEO Jerry Ward said.
“People sometimes think, ‘Oh, we don’t have a ranch so maybe it’s not quite our store,'” Ward said during the ceremony. “We like to think of ourselves as an old-fashioned general store.”
His company gutted the building that used to house Safeway, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ronni Hannaman said.
“The only thing that’s left are the walls,” she said.
She also praised the turnout for the store, saying it was among the biggest she’s seen in Carson City.
It also hired 32 people, drawing praise from Mayor Bob Crowell as a move that will “make a huge dent in the unemployment, which is a problem here.”
According to the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, Carson City’s unemployment rate was 12.4 percent in March.
“It’s a great addition to Carson City and, in particular, a great addition to the northern part of Carson City,” he said.
Further, even though it replaced the Safeway at that location, it will add to the sales tax rolls at a time when the city is facing a $3.7 million shortfall. (Groceries are not subject to sales tax.)
“The sales tax is wonderful for the city budget and being able to contribute to the public services, but I think what is more important is the economic energy,” Crowell said.
So far, the community has been welcoming and interest strong in Carson City and beyond, Mohr said.
“I’ve taken phone calls and stuff today from people 100 miles away,” he said.