Cabela’s to wow at grand opening

CabelaThe highly anticipated grand opening of Cabela’s in Chesterfield Township takes place this Thursday. In addition to 175 new jobs, the development brings something special to the area, and with that, a lot of excitement surrounds this weekend’s festivities.

The impressive 90,000-square-foot facility features 2,500 square feet of hand-painted murals, 150 wildlife mounts, vintage and modern outdoor photographs, and high-tech interactive kiosks. In addition to aisles and aisles of merchandise that include everything from live bait and sporting gear to clothes and cabin décor, there are plenty of excited employees ready to share their passion for the outdoors, encouraging customers to try out products and participate in live demonstrations.

Cabela a.pngThis is Cabela’s fourth location in Michigan, and it has been tailored to Macomb County. Located near the intersection of Hall Road and Interstate 94, it is minutes away from Lake St. Clair. The store offers a large selection of fishing gear but is especially stocked with items for muskie, walleye and smallmouth bass fishing, since this is what Lake St. Clair is known for. With more than 100 reels to choose from, customers are encouraged to try them out before making their purchase.

Because hunting is also a popular pastime here, another large portion of the store is dedicated to firearms. This is the first store to have a digital firearm kiosk that allows customers to easily sort through a vast catalogue of guns, pulling up information on weight, capacity, caliber and much more. With assistance from an employee, a sample firearm can be filled with CO2 and fired at a target on the screen. In addition to getting a feel for the grip and pull of the trigger, the interactive kiosk tracks and reports your movement. There is also an archery range in the store where you can get in a little target practice with a number of different bows.

Cabela 1With a mission to bring the love of outdoors to everyone, Cabela’s offers something for every member of the family. This is evident by the products they carry, such as toy fishing rods and kid’s tackle boxes, and even by their shopping carts which include baby seats and motorized carts. Kids will not only be amazed by the mounted wolves, deer and moose in the displays, but they can also learn about the animals and their habitats by using a touchscreen kiosk.

The grand opening takes place Thursday, Aug. 3. Crowd entertainment begins at 7 a.m. and includes giveaways, live music performed by Lucas Hoge and several speakers. At 9:45 a.m., there will be a dramatic ribbon cutting ceremony where an employee will shoot an arrow to break the ribbon. Doors officially open at 10 a.m., and the shopping can begin! The first 500 customers in line (18 and over) will receive a gift card valued from $10 to $500. The party continues with more festivities and giveaways throughout the entire weekend.

Cabela’s is located at 45959 Towne Center Blvd. in Chesterfield Township. More information can be found on their website at

Cabela 4

Caitlin Gerds-Habermas is an associate planner in business outreach and communications for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

Romeo-Washington Chamber shoots for the stars, honors John Paul Rea

When it comes to celebrating one’s hometown, perhaps nobody does it better than Romeo.

Between Tillson Street trick-or-treating, the Michigan Lavender Festival, and of course the Michigan Peach Festival, Romeo residents have a lot to be proud of. There’s even more to celebrate, though: The town also has a fantastic array of cuisine, art, and music made by locals.

That’s what Night Under the Stars is all about.

For the 6th year in a row, the Greater Romeo-Washington Chamber of Commerce is hosting its annual Night Under the Stars celebration. The event features local music, art, food, and wine, as well as a keynote speaker known as a “hometown success story.”

This year that honor goes to none other than John Paul Rea, director of the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

“We were really excited to choose John Paul. He was class president back when he graduated Romeo High School in 2001, and he’s had so much success since then, while staying local at the same time,” said chamber Executive Director Kelley Stephens. “He’s got an interesting story.”

In his keynote address, Rea will discuss his journey from Romeo to where he is now.

“We’ve had keynote speakers from all different fields—arts, literature, film, sports—but we’ve never had someone from the political sphere until this year,” Stephens said.

Around 140-180 people attend the event every year—so get your tickets soon.

“This is one of my favorite events that we do,” added Stephens. “The money that we raise funds scholarships for graduating high school seniors, so it’s a way to celebrate the community while giving back.”

Night Under the Stars takes place from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. on Aug. 4 at the Historic Douglas House. Tickets are $25 per person or $40 per couple. To reserve your tickets, call (586) 752-4436 or visit


Jenna Russell is a summer intern at the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. She is a senior at Oakland University.

Networking and baseball with the Consular Corps of Michigan

What started off as a stormy and humid Thursday turned into a warm evening with a slight breeze and an enjoyable time at Jimmy John’s Field. Under the third baseline pavilion, members of the Consular Corps of Michigan gathered with Macomb County’s economic development team to discuss business attraction and international investments while the Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers played against the Eastside Diamond Hoppers.

Corps 1According to the Consular Corps of Michigan website, their mission is to “sustain an environment in which trade, investment and cultural relationships flourish between member nations and the United States of America…” Representatives from Barbados, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Norway, Switzerland, Ukraine and United Kingdom were all on hand to hear remarks from County Executive Mark A. Hackel and Chairman and CEO of General Sports and Entertainment Andy Appleby.

Hackel promoted bringing business to Macomb County and the services we offer under our economic development program. Appleby discussed how his dream of designing and operating a baseball field came to life with hands-on assistance from our department. As part of the festivities, guests were given a behind-the-scenes tour of Jimmy John’s Field. Many partner agencies joined the meetup, representing the Macomb County Chamber, OneMacomb and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Corps 3The key takeaway: Macomb County is a great place for international companies to call home. With access to waterways and international borders, Macomb County has the proximity as well as the talent and expertise to assist these businesses. Fostering and building these relationships with our international partners is fundamental to the county’s expansion and growth goals, and we welcome them with open arms.

Lauri Cowhy is a senior communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

Landing the F-35

Macomb County is going all out in its efforts to become the home of the F-35.

What is the F-35? It’s a new fifth-generation fighter jet, capable of both air defense and ground attacks. It’s able to perform intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions with ease, and according to the website, its futuristic technology is “designed to defeat today’s most advanced threat systems […] as well as those expected to emerge in the decades to come.”

Needless to say, the F-35 is a bit of a celebrity in the aircraft world.


Across the nation, five locations were chosen as finalists in the competition to house the F-35: Montgomery, AL; Boise, ID; Jacksonville, FL; Madison, WI; and Harrison Township, MI. Selfridge Air National Guard Base is the last of the five bases that will be evaluated before the winning locations are determined.

Many factors indicate that they’ve saved the best for last.

faMacomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel, alongside the Michigan Defense Center and the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development, commissioned a comparative analysis of the five competing locations. Research shows that of the five finalists, the metro Detroit area has the necessary workforce, infrastructure, and experience to handle the F-35 mission most successfully.

To read more on why Selfridge ANGB is the ideal location for the F-35, visit The winning locations are expected to be announced in mid-autumn this year.

Jenna Russell is a summer intern at the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. She is a senior at Oakland University.


Letters of support fly in for the F-35

If you haven’t heard yet, there’s something abuzz in Macomb County! Selfridge Air National Guard Base is one of the top five national finalists competing to house a new type of fighter jet: the F-35.

s 1And the movement to bring home the F-35 is now picking up speed, thanks to several letters of support written by leaders from around the county.

Robert J. Cannon, Clinton Township supervisor, writes, “Our community understands and appreciates the true impact that Selfridge has had on our region, our state, and our nation.” Cannon goes on to explain that Selfridge was home to the country’s first successful military relations committee, which made Mount Clemens into “a model for other military towns to follow.”

s 2Selfridge has a rich history, and it only makes sense that its history should be taken into account here. As noted by Kathleen Lomako, president of the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, Selfridge was “one of the first military airfields in the nation.” During the Second World War, the base was “able to produce new bombers at the rate of one every hour, something no one thought possible at the time.” Our area has a proud tradition of being part of our nation’s air-based defense system, and, as Lomako writes, many believe that tradition “should be extended into the next century” with the housing of the F-35.

Besides its historical significance, Selfridge also offers plenty of logistical advantages, including a new jet fuel storage and delivery system. The base is also home to all five branches of the military—a unique asset compared to other bases. Additionally, as stated by Cannon, Selfridge has “over 3,000 full-time civilian and military personnel” ready to support and defend the base.

s 3Lomako adds that there are plenty of non-military factors that make Selfridge an ideal location for the F-35 as well. Selfridge is “located in one of the largest metropolitan areas of the country,” which means its employees will have access to an efficient airport and to other employment opportunities after their military careers have ended. They will also be in close proximity to a “full spectrum of educational, commercial, and recreational services, which is desirable for any personnel stationed at the base.”

To read all the letters of support from county leaders that have been published so far, click here. And to learn more about why Selfridge is a perfect fit for the F-35, visit

Jenna Russell is a summer intern at the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. She is a senior at Oakland University.