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OUR VIEW: Cabela's keeps playing waiting game

The future of a main retailer in Mitchell is doing its best balancing-beam act. Cabela's, known as the "World's Foremost Outfitter," was sold to Bass Pro Shops in October for approximately $5.5 billion. Since then, we haven't heard much about pla...

The future of a main retailer in Mitchell is doing its best balancing-beam act.

Cabela's, known as the "World's Foremost Outfitter," was sold to Bass Pro Shops in October for approximately $5.5 billion.

Since then, we haven't heard much about plans for the Mitchell Cabela's, which opened its doors in March 2000 and led to numerous other construction projects near Interstate 90.

There's clearly an uncertainty for the store that kickstarted the southern business boom in Mitchell as either company's officials aren't discussing much about the sale or individual properties.

Perhaps some clarity was given to Cabela's employees when the sale was announced in October. Prior to the announcement, reports said Cabela's was seeking potential buyers. When the sale was announced, at least employees learned their immediate fate.

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Then, late last month The Associated Press reported the merger between the Cabela's and Bass Pro hit a snag.

The report said U.S. and Canadian antitrust regulators would seek an additional month to examine the acquisition. The deal was expected to be finalized in the first half of 2017, but that is likely to now be delayed.

There must be an uneasy feeling for all Cabela's employees in its 85 retail stores. Bass Pro has not publicly announced any plans for Cabela's locations, meaning no one yet has reported whether Cabela's locations will close, transition into Bass Pro or hold the Cabela's name as a subdivision of Bass Pro.

Clearly a store closing could have huge implications for our city. Cabela's is a massive draw for pheasant hunters who come through southeastern South Dakota each year. That in turn boosts the tourism economy and makes our city a sought-after location.

But there is good news for the local Cabela's. Mitchell and Rapid City are the only locations in South Dakota with a Cabela's store, and the nearest Bass Pro is in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

It makes sense to keep an outdoor retailer in Mitchell with all of the hunting and fishing opportunities nearby, but Cabela's employees are probably getting tired of playing the waiting game to find out what's next.

For their sake and more, we have high hopes for a successful Bass Pro-Cabela's merger.

Quite simply, Mitchell needs Cabela's.

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But it sure is unnerving watching the outdoor retailer balance in anticipation of its future.

Related Topics: OUR VIEWHUNTINGFISHING
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