Greenwood residents soon will be able to visit a new Cabela’s outdoor store if they’re willing to drive a few hours down the interstate.
The outdoor retailer plans to open stores this spring in Louisville, Ky., and Columbus, Ohio. Both the stores will be about a third as big as the 125,000-square-foot store that had been planned in Greenwood. But they still will include a replica mountain and museum-quality taxidermy.
Cabela’s has been growing rapidly, and its stock price has been soaring. The Nebraska-based store plans to open 11 stores across the country next year, but none of them is in Greenwood or central Indiana.
The company has shifted focus from its original strategy of building huge destination stores and instead is building smaller stores of about 88,000 square feet, according to its recent announcements. The retailer, which is known for its massive aquariums and fake mountains, is even building a 44,000-square-foot store in Michigan.
In 2009, the outdoor retailer canceled plans for a megastore on about 100 acres just off Interstate 65 and County Line Road in Greenwood. The store would have been surrounded by a water park, a hotel, restaurants and smaller stores, and company officials had promised it would be a tourist destination that would draw outdoor enthusiasts from out of state.
Cabela’s first delayed its plans, citing a sluggish economy. It then announced the Greenwood location was called off and sold the land back to the group of investors that originally owned it. Cabela’s then started building again elsewhere.