When the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., struck a deal with outdoor sportsman goods retailer Cabela’s in 2001, elected officials thought the city would have the only store within a 150-mile radius.
So they were surprised when Cabela’s announced in April it would open a store about 30 miles away in Lee’s Summit.
A spokesman for the Unified Government said the prospect of a Lee’s Summit Cabela’s is a concern.
“We are in discussions with the Cabela’s folks to figure out what we’re going to do,” said Mike Taylor, a Unified Government spokesman.
Cabela’s opened its first area store in 2002 near Kansas Speedway. Media accounts pegged the KCK Cabela’s as the top tourist destination in Kansas in the years that followed.
The Unified Government negotiated a restriction on new Cabela’s locations within a 150-mile radius when the two sides reached a development agreement in 2001. Officials said that restriction is in place for seven more years.
“We clearly have grounds to raise an issue about this,” Taylor said, adding that officials haven’t made a decision about what, if anything, they will do.
RED Development is planning the second local Cabela’s store as a component of its Summit Place retail project. Summit Place is a 352,000-square-foot project at Interstate 470 and Blue Parkway, adjacent to the Summit Fair development.
When asked about the restriction, RED Development spokeswoman Sara Anderson said: “We’re delighted Cabela’s is planning to open at Summit Place.” She referred further comment about the matter to Cabela’s officials.
A spokesman at Cabela’s corporate offices in Sidney, Neb., did not respond to several attempts seeking comment for this story.
Lee’s Summit officials said they are aware of the Unified Government’s concerns about the 150-mile radius restriction.
“This is a matter that will need to be resolved between Cabela’s and the Unified Government” said Lee’s Summit city manager, Stephen Arbo, in a statement. “At this time, no formal application has been submitted to the city of Lee’s Summit for consideration regarding the proposed store.”
Mark Holland, the Unified Government mayor, called Cabela’s a “great partner” for Kansas City, Kan.
“We’re digging into it right now,” Holland said. “I’m confident there’s a solution that works for everyone. I don’t know what that is.”