Nebraska political leaders react with caution and encouragement to the news that Bass Pro Shops of Springfield, Missouri has purchased Cabela’s, based in Sidney, in a $5.5 billion deal.
Gov. Pete Ricketts issued the following statement:
“I know this change brings significant disruption and uncertainty for the citizens of Cheyenne County and the surrounding communities. My office, the Department of Economic Development, and the Department of Labor stand ready to assist area residents and communities to find opportunities. Nebraskans have faced challenges in the past, and we overcome them by working together. We will face these new circumstances by working together as well.
“We are pleased Capitol One agreed to keep their acquired operations in Lincoln, and we encourage Bass Pro to consider the same. I know from personal experience that when you hire Nebraskans you get individuals who are well-educated, have a great work-ethic, and will make your company succeed.”
U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer issued this statement:
“Cabela’s is a world-renowned retailer due to the hard work of many Nebraskans who have contributed to its great success over the years. I understand this decision will cause uncertainty in the weeks and months ahead, especially for the citizens of Sidney. I also believe that the strength of Nebraska is rooted in our communities and our way of life. I am hopeful Bass Pro Shops will recognize this as they make plans for the future of this operation.”
Congressman Adrian Smith, who represents western Nebraska, had this to say.
“Cabela’s has long served as a cornerstone of western Nebraska’s economy, and I hope Bass Pro Shops will see the value in maintaining operations in Sidney. Thousands of Nebraskans have worked tirelessly to build the Cabela’s brand, which is respected nationwide and around the world. Our state has a pro-growth economy and an unmatched work ethic, which I urge Bass Pro Shops to consider when determining a path forward.”
Cabela’s employs approximately 2,000 people in the small city of Sidney, which boasts its headquarters.
Cabela’s was founded in 1961 by Dick, Mark and Jim Cabela in Sidney. It has 85 retail stores, primarily in the western United States and Canada.
Bass Pro Shops was founded in 1973 by Johnny Morris. It has 99 stores and Tacker Marine Centers, mostly in the eastern United States and Canada. Morris began White River Marine Group in 1978. Tracker has grown to become the top fishing boat brand in the United States.
All statements were released by the respective offices after Cabela’s announced it had been acquired by Bass Pro.