IT'S the store that staff have dubbed "The King of the Mountain". The newest business to open in Bathurst's growing Gateway commercial development on the edge of Kelso is Anaconda - and it's only the second outlet for the outdoor adventure giant in the Central West. Sprawling over around 2500 square feet, and as one of the biggest Anaconda outlets in the state, the Bathurst store has created almost 40 new jobs, spread over casual, permanent and full-time positions. Anaconda regional manager for NSW North West, Aaron Zarb, says he is "anticipating one of the biggest openings we have ever had" as the doors to the Bathurst outlet swing open on Saturday, December 9. "I just think that the vibe within the community of Bathurst in the lead-up to our opening has been even more engaging than that of Dubbo [where Anaconda opened in August]," he said. The Anaconda opening puts another piece in place for the Gateway development, which has been taking shape since 2017 and which has benefited from the duplication of the Great Western Highway through Kelso. A childcare centre opened at Gateway in November 2020, a Metro Petroleum followed in June 2021, an Oporto franchise the next month and Bathurst's second KFC in December 2021. The Gateway's development director Bob Walsh told the Western Advocate last year that Anaconda, Harris Scarfe Home and Beacon Lighting would all be setting up premises at the Kelso site, while existing Bathurst retailer Harvey Norman would be moving to The Gateway from its current location in Pat O'Leary Drive. Anaconda's Mr Zarb said the store's grand opening on Saturday, December 9 would kick off at 8am. The day will include jumping castles and face-painting for the kids, free slushies, sideshow games, and coffee and cold drinks for the adults. As well, the first 100 people through the doors on the day will receive a free $20 gift card to be spent in store. Drinks supplied on the day are all thanks to local businesses and community organisations such as Little Vintage Blends and Girl Guides - what Mr Zarb said was part of ensuring that Anaconda directly caters to the locals. Mr Zarb said Bathurst, being surrounded by rivers, hiking areas and camping sites, was the right site for the store. "The geographics of the area cover everything we sell," he said. Store manager Stephen Betts, meanwhile, said hiring locals was extremely important. "Local knowledge is key, especially with our fishing department: knowing what to catch, where to catch, with what lure, what spot, that in itself is its own organism," he said. "And if you don't have that, and you bring someone in from the outside that doesn't know the local area, it won't work. That's key: having the right people in the right department." Anaconda will soon be joined in The Gateway by Harris Scarfe Home, which is set to open on Thursday, December 14. These stores have been developed by Canberra-based Caerus Property, whose portfolio includes the four businesses already established in the Kelso estate.