Next month, Scheels, an employee-owned sporting goods store, will celebrate its first anniversary in Colorado Springs. If you haven't been there yet, you are in for a treat. It's a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.
Before stepping inside the store, you can enjoy several larger-than-life-sized bronze sculptors including a fisherman, snowboarder, bike rider, soccer player, and a few former U.S. presidents.
There is also a fallen soldier memorial with crests from each branch of military service.
As you enter the store, there is an impressive 16,000-gallon salt-water aquarium that forms an archway into the shopping experience. Just past the colorful fish is an indoor Ferris wheel that is amazing to look at and even more fun to ride. Each ride costs $1.00 per person, and tokens can be purchased at any cash register or customer service.
While riding the Ferris wheel, visually explore the store and create a shopping plan. The ground floor is mostly clothing and shoes with a large selection of professional sports apparel. The second floor has home decor, camping, fishing, hunting, outdoor grilling, and sporting goods.
The toy section upstairs is full of fun things to explore that will delight the child in everyone. There are Lego tables and bricks where young shoppers can play while others admire the Denver Bronco's mascot created out of Legos.
Next, explore "Fuzziwig's Candy Factory", a candy store stocked with lemon drops, gummie bears, gumballs, jelly beans, Swedish fish, and a large selection of other treats. There are dipped Oreos, chocolate-covered pretzels, and giant peanut butter cups for the chocolate lover. With so many tasty options, it is hard to choose just one.
The second floor also has a small arcade, a two-lane bowling alley ($1 for five frames), a duck hunting game, and an animatronic Abraham Lincoln reciting the Gettysburg Address. Everywhere you turn, there seems to be something fun to look at or an entertaining activity to do.
There are numerous displays of taxidermy animals. I think Scheels might have more animals than the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, although they are not nearly as lively. The largest exhibit is "Wildlife Mountain" with over 200 taxidermy-preserved critters. It is pictured above.
If you want to safely get up close and personal with an impressive creature, the bear pictured below is one of the store's photo ops.
The store is well-stocked and brightly lit with plenty of friendly employees available to assist you when needed. The merchandise prices were competitive, and they have a price match program if you find an item for less at another store.
It takes time to explore the whole store, so if you get hungry, stop at Ginni's Cafe on the main level. This eatery serves sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups, pizza, and an impressive selection of fudge.
Then, live on the edge and ride the Ferris wheel again!
Scheels is a unique experience where shopping and adventure merge to create a fun, family-friendly outing. It's worth a visit.
- Location: 1226 Interquest Parkway, Colorado Springs, CO 80921
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