Friday, November 02, 2007

LL Bean Hunting and Fishing store opens in Freeport

Went to the gala opening of the new LLBean Hunting and Fishing store just behind the main store in Freeport. It's a beautiful new building that is reminscent of an old hunting lodge, complete with leather chairs, fireplace and library filled with books and information (and a big screen TV!)

In keeping with a long tradition of the Maine woodsman and sportsman to conserve resources, the new store was built with salvaged timbers from the demolition of the old shoe factory buildings where the outlet store used to be. The construction company in charge of the project was able to recycle 95% of the construction materials, an all-time record for Pizzigalli Construction.

For anyone awake at that hour, there is a free hunter's breakfast at the new store on Saturday morning (Nov 3) at 4:30 AM.

Something that intrigued me was the indoor archery range. There was quite the crowd in there so I'm going to head back at another time to check it out.

Upstairs is a bridge spanning the width of the mezzanine. To one side of the bridge I saw a well laid out fly tying table. This is sure to be a hit!

Even if hunting and fishing are not for you, it's worth a walk over to the new building just to see the 'riverbed' fish tank. Unlike the pond in the center of the main store, this new wall-mounted live display has a 'bubble' built in where kids (and flexible adults) can pop in to see the fish swimming all around their heads. And there were some beautiful fish in that tank! Even if you're not into fishing, these are beautiful fish just to look at. Oftentimes we don't think of river fish being colorful or beautiful as tropical fish, but they are extraordinary!

Part of the evening's festivities was a great selection of hor d'oeuvres and local brews. And a wonderful $25,000 donation by LL Bean to Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to complement and continue their programs for children, families and women to learn about hunting and fishing.

Now that this store is open, more development is set for Freeport...the construction trailers are in place to begin groundwork for the new 'Freeport Village Station' shopping area (the first 4 tenants announced last week...Izod, Geoffrey Beene, Calvin Klein and Van Heusen). This also means the LL Bean outlet will soon migrate back to this end of town and Buck's Naked BBQ will begin their migration to the old outlet, bringing with them plans for nightly entertainment!

Wow! The joint is jumpin'!

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