A Midwestern sporting-goods store that’s grown from a mail-order business to a retail giant may include Iowa in its expansion plans. Cabela’s spokesman Joe Arterburn says several new sporting-goods “superstores” are on the drawing board. Arterburn says the company has a lot of good customers in Iowa and it “is a great state for us.” He says “they have a very welcoming atmosphere for business, or they seem to at this point,” and he adds the company will take a look at Iowa, as it is at other places around the country. Cabela’s, founded and based in Sydney, Nebraska, was the subject of tax-incentive legislation in this year’s session of the Nebraska legislature — but it failed to pass. “We were really looking forward to building a store in the eastern part of the state,” Arterburn says. He says some other states seem to be welcoming new business with open arms but Cabela’s home state “sort of shoved us aside,” at least for now. The bill proposed special tourism and entertainment districts, with sales-tax and lodging-tax incentives to help fund development. Lawmakers made no secret of the fact that their intent was to encourage a big new Cabela’s store in the region between Lincoln and Omaha, but the bill failed to pass. This week store officials say the Iowa incentives that just convinced a big sporting-goods store to build in Council Bluffs might attract Cabela’s to the Hawkeye state, too. “Bass Pro” is putting the finishing touches on a mega-store near the Bluffs Run Casino, and credits a 20-Million-dollar incentive package from the state of Iowa.
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