Uncertainty about Cabela’s future has already slowed the
housing market in the outdoor retailer’s hometown of Sidney, and that is likely to intensify now that the company agreed to be bought by rival Bass Pro.
The sharp drop in housing demand in the western Nebraska town of about 7,000 is a sharp contrast to what residents were used to before Cabela’s started reviewing its strategic options last year.
Last week’s $4.5 billion deal to sell Cabela’s raises questions about the roughly 2,000 people the company employs in Sidney even though Springfield, Missouri-based Bass Pro pledged to maintain significant operations there.
Kevin Ross with Asmus Brothers Realty in Scottsbluff tells the Omaha World-Herald the departure of a large number of people will depress Sidney’s real estate prices.
One Cabela’s employee told the paper that when he bought his home last year, there were only 3 houses for sale in his price range. Now there are over 100 and he expects to lose at least $80,000 on the investment in his home.
In 2013, Cabela’s announced that it would develop a $350 million to $500 million project of more than 700 single-family homes in a new subdivision called The Ranch, but today only 4 houses are under construction. Developer Robert Milward of StoneCrest Construction of Fort Collins told the World-Herald he’d expected to make a million dollars on them but now has little hope of selling them.