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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cabela's - Sucking on the Government Teat

Cabela's is finally coming to the Front Range, and I don't think I'll do much shopping there.  Bottom line is this:

They're a company with $2.7 billion (yes, with a B) in revenue who won't open a store unless they're given millions of dollars in incentives by cities.  And hey, I get it....cities are desperate for jobs and tax revenue.  Cabela's is desperate to put money in the bank.

This is the result:
In 2004, Cabela's announced plans to build a very large store in Wheat Ridge....

...In preparation of the construction, approximately $25 million in infrastructure work was done. A flyover was constructed to carry the anticipated traffic to the store.

The Colorado Department of Transportation built the flyover at a cost of $20 million in federal and local funds. The Longs Peak Metro District constructed an I-70 underpass at a cost of $5 million...

....By 2009, Goff says Cabela's had dropped their plans to build on the Wheat Ridge site.
So...no Cabela's in Wheat Ridge, even after the city, state, and federal governments invested $25 million in the project.

But there will a Cabela's in Lone Tree and one in Thornton.  Yep....thanks to incentives.

To secure the Cabela's stores in their communities, Lone Tree and Thornton committed to provide incentives. A spokesperson for the City of Thornton says it gifted 63 acres of land to the developer, THF. Thornton will also provide $15 million in infrastructure improvements including traffic and sewer improvements.

A spokesperson for the City of Lone Tree says it is providing $7.2 million incentives in infrastructure improvements. Those incentives will not be paid to Cabela's until the store is actually built.
Seriously...what the fuck?

Is it too much to ask a company with billions in revenue to fund their own expansion?

Is it too much to ask our city and state governments (and the feds too) to use public resources for public purposes?

Seriously, Thornton gave Cabela's 63 acres as a gift?  I just don't get that.  Here's a city that would be reluctant to buy a homeless man a meal and they're giving away a big chunk of land to a multi-billion dollar corporation?

No wonder the economy is shit.

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