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Cabela’s to come to Bristol

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Outdoor outfitter giant, Cabela’s, will be the first of two anchor stores at The Falls, a 140-acre retail tourism site being developed in Bristol. The store will be Cabela’s first in Virginia.
“Cabela’s has a deep customer base not only in and around Bristol but across the region …” Tommy Millner, Cabela’s CEO said in a statement. “These outdoorsmen and women have supported Cabela’s for a long time, shopped with us via our catalog and online, so it was time to bring them the unique Cabela’s retail experience.”

Bristol city officials announced that signed documents are in hand from Sidney, Neb.-based Cabela’s, but they did not disclose the second anchor. Cabela’s said in a press release that it would build an 85,000-square-foot store in the company’s trademark style with an exterior of log construction, stonework, wood siding and metal roofing. The interior will highlight Cabela’s next-generation layout, designed to maximize product assortment, while surrounding customers in the outdoor experience with wildlife and outdoor memorabilia displays. It will feature thousands of outdoor products, museum-quality animal mounts, a gun library, bargain cave and fudge shop. Currently,  Cabela’s operates 38 stores in the U. S. and Canada.

The interior will highlight Cabela’s next-generation layout, designed to maximize product assortment and availability while surrounding customers in an outdoor experience with wildlife and outdoor memorabilia displays. The store will feature thousands of outdoor products, museum-quality animal mounts, a gun library, bargain cave and fudge shop,

The Falls is a destination retail development that will be located off 1-81 Exit 5 in Bristol. Development of the $200 million project will occur over three phases. When complete, the property expects to house 1.47 million square feet of retail space with Bristol looking to attract grocery, apparel, sporting good and department stores.

The project began in January as Virginia’s response to Tennessee’s Border Region Retail Tourism Development District Act. The act allows localities in Tennessee, near a state border, to capture state tax revenues associated with new large-scale retail and/or tourism developments to pay the local expense of incentivizing the developing location.
Fearing the migration of business to Tennessee, Andrew Trivette, Bristol’s director of community development and planning, wrote a similar bill for Virginia. Under the Virginia bill, Bristol, Va., is classified as a Development of Regional Impact (DRI), and, as a result, will be able to keep 100 percent of sales tax generated from the project to assist with the payment of project costs.

“What this means is that financing is 100 percent derived from the sales tax generated by this project,” Dewey Cashwell, Bristol’s city manager, said in a statement. “The user fee is being financed by the 3 million people who visit this destination, not the 18,000 who call it home,” he added. Cashwell said Bristol is the only municipality in the state with this capability.

Site prep and construction of Cabela’s could begin as early as June 2013, with a projected October 2014 opening date.

To move The Falls project forward, Bristol City Council members plan to borrow $25 million in general obligation bonds. 

 


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