More Stores Look To Open In Kalispell - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

More Stores Look To Open In Kalispell

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KALISPELL -

Kalispell planning officials say they are more than half way to filling up all the slots near the Cabela's Outpost off US 93.

They also say the growth will not stop there.

This week, Kalispell's planning department got three more plans from stores hoping to open near the Cabela's Outpost. That brings the total to five: Ulta, Michaels, Boot Barn, PetSmart, and Verizon.

Only two more spots are still open, but the planning director, Thomas Jentz, says two clothing stores should submit plans within the next two weeks. MacKenzie River Pub and Grill is already under construction on Treeline Road, but the newest seven will not start until March.

"We've really obtained a critical mass with retail," said Joe Unterreiner, the president of the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce.

Unterreiner compares the growth to the domino effect.

"Additional retail up there just really kind of strengthens our position as a regional trade and commercial center and attracts more retail from outside the area," said Unterreiner.

It is too early to estimate what kind of economic impact this will have, but it looks like a sign of recovery.

"We're a different community than we were before the recession," said Jentz, "Our economy county-wide has shifted."

Another sign of the changing times: Jentz is already looking forward to building out the Victory Commons, 28 acres just south of Costco. He expects to get some proposals as early as the spring, and to build out the area with eight to ten stores in the next two to three years.

We made calls to all of the stores that have submitted plans to Kalispell's City Hall, but as of news time only PetSmart was able to respond. In an email they wrote "Kalispell is an area we are currently looking at and we are hoping to join your community in the not too distant future."

Jentz says Chick-Fil-A is looking to move in next to Cabela's too, but has not submitted plans and will likely hold off on construction until next year.

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