Facts about the Cabela's cabal, Sparks REDevelopment and other egregious extortions
How to become a Nevada corporate welfare queen for fun and profit


Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive

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Corporate welfare unites me with the moonhowlers
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 5-19-2015 Sparks Tribune

Tesla rewrites history to chisel worker paychecks
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 4-21-2015 Sparks Tribune

Taxpayers taken for Teslacide demo ride

Barbano to legislative committee 3-9-2015: Let Tesla, Switch and Apple help pay for police officer video cameras

Go west, young Bezoids scores $1.3 million in tax freebies for moving 30 miles west to Reno from Fernley
Associated Press / 10-12-2014

True confessions from the back of the bus
Reno newspaper pushes new casino redline under the guise of "university town"
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 10-7-2014 Sparks Tribune

Tinkle-down economics: testing Tesla's testes
Theft of Washoe Med/Renown provides cautionary tale
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 9-9-2014 Sparks Tribune

CRIME SCENE—>Reno Gazette-Journal STAR Bonds Archive

Waste Mismanagement
Unappealing: Local governments turn monopolies loose on public without grievance process

By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 7-17-2014

Sparks council doles out more casino corporate welfare to John Ascuaga's Nugget
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 3-20-2014

Déjà vu all over again and again and...
Viruses in the program: Apple downtown Reno/UNR center was never put in writing—>
Apple burns the mouse pad: Years of union warnings confirmed. Reno Gazette-Journal editorial demands more transparency in corporate welfare tax giveways like Apple and UNR. Better late than never?

Will Gomorrah South learn?
Southern Nevada unions protest wealthy corporate welfare queens' scheme to build Las Vegas 51s baseball park with public funds
$88 million deal would be second only to Apple's all-time shakedown record of $89mm
Does the Howard Hughes outfit really need all that money?
Las Vegas Review-Journal / 10-19-2013 Corporate Welfare Archive

Applecart Tipping?
Critics claim Apple/NVEnergy partnership will put ratepayers at risk
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 9-19-2013

Reno City Council rolls over for Waste Management—>again
Barbano: Workers, ratepayers, taxpayers & competitors all harmed, as usual

Two monopolies for the price of one
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review / 9-5-2013

Corporate welfare for downtown casino railroad trench turns into a nine-figure payday loan for City of Reno
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 8-29-2013

Workers & taxpayers protest Apple's lack of transparency
Schools pay the price of corporate welfare
Powerful demonstration at Reno Summit Sierra shopping complex

Dirt cheap
Congress gave the new state of Nevada 4 million acres to pay for schools.
What happened to them?

Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 7-18-2013
We Don't Need No Education —> The Neverending Series

Enron II: Nevada's Battle-Born Toxic Event
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 6-6-2013 Sparks Tribune

Star-stuck: Dirty deals for dirty movies
Ghostrider Nicolas Cage sticks it to Nevada school kids
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from
the 5-16-2013 Daily Sparks Tribune

Mr. Wynnderful waxes wealthier whilst we wither
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 5-9-2013 Daily Sparks Tribune

Corporate welfare rolls published: Nevada scrutiny of state corporate aid challenged
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 12-13-2012

Kiss the Reno Aces goodbye —>NOW
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 10-25-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

EXCLUSIVE: RTC trying to give away
$50 million+ in corporate welfare
U-News / 9-21-2012 // Updated 9-24, 9-25, 9-27, 10-1-2012

New stores at Legends raise questions about STAR bonds
KRNV TV-4 (NBC) / Reported by Ashley Cullins / Video clip hereat / 10-1-2012

Legendary problem
Whether Sparks development project is really working goes unexamined

By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 9-27-2012

The flipside from an old fry cook
Legit media stenographers fail to pop the corporate welfare question
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 9-20-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

Reno Gazette-Journal STAR Bondage Archive

Lobbyist Greg Ferraro paid by both sides in Reno Apple corporate welfare deal
Conflict of interest? This is Nevada, o innocent and weary lonesome traveller
Las Vegas Sun / 8-17-2012

Cabela's asserts in Atlantic that Reno store "is its most successful at being a true destination retailer"
The wealthy welfare queen has refused to document fulfillment of the legal requirement for winning obscene corporate welfare tax freebies: generating more than half of sales from tourists
The Atlantic Online / 8-13-2012

If you give it away, you can't sell it
How the Beehive State bested Nevada by investing in education rather than prostituting to corporations
High-tax Utah has now surpassed Virginia on the Forbes list of most business-friendly states
Tax-the-workers Nevada is at the bottom of the barrel, as usual
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 7-12-2012

Deception —> Should public officials give their allegiance to the public or to Apple?
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 7-5-2012

i'toon: Fertilizing apples with citizens as mushrooms
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 7-1-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

You don't wanna buy a car, do ya? RED Development exec calls Sparks Legends a "failed project"
The negative sell apparently worked. The voters approved RED's Eagle River Station project anyway
Vail Daily / 5-15-2012

RED Development defaults on $141 million in its hometown
Kansas City project was used to sell Sparks on the Marina hustle
Daily Sparks Tribune / 2-2-2012

Ex-official: Sparks fired its first negotiating team
Don't like the opinions of your experts? Just get new experts. Problem solved?

Reno Gazette-Journal / 1-26-2012

Reno's fire station loan with Aces owners on the rocks
Reno in talks with Nevada Land LLC about retooling Aces Ballpark financing agreement
"If the loan were to default, Nevada Land (the billionaire-owned ballpark developer), would have the option to foreclose on those 10 city-owned properties, largely located along Fourth Street just west of downtown, and sell them to recoup the money it’s owed."
Reno Gazette-Journal / 1-25-2012

STAR BONDS: About five full pages of latecoming lament minus $25 million
Reno Gazette-Journal / 1-22-2012
(See the 10-17-2010 Barbwire in the Sparks Tribune to fill in the blanks)

Region's STAR bond districts requiring more reserve payments to meet debt obligations
Reno Gazette-Journal / 12-31-2011

Ostrich heads in the sands of Sparks Marina
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 10-30-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune

Local residents fight RED Development in Eagle, Colorado

FLY FISHING: Local sporting goods stores drop like flies as tax dollars subsidize Cabela's and Scheels
Reno Gazette-Journal / 10-24-2011

Billionaire Reno Aces owner tells he'd pay more taxes but refuses to pay Nevada taxes
Reno Gazette-Journal / 10-19-2011

Full story: Charles Koch says hell no
KOCH CAIN: Koch Brothers would rather invest in follyticians like Pizzaman

Tax reduction rejected for Reno Aces Ballpark
Reno Gazette-Journal / 10-19-2011

A Tatty Tale of Two Newspapers

Sparks officials stick with the shuck that a mythological hotel-casino will magically appear to save
the foundering Legends at Sparks Marina development

Daily Sparks Tribune
editor gives Legends/Marina corporate welfare project a cold shower...

Nathan Orme / Commentary / Daily Sparks Tribune 10-23-2011

...But the Reno Gazette-Journal prints corporate gaga about Legends@Sparks Marina
Reno Gazette-Journal / 10-18-2011

Washoe County, school district and state taxpayers must cover downtown Reno corporate welfare costs
Reno Gazette-Journal / 10-18-2011

Sparks officials claim blissful ignorance about Lowe's closing Oddie location when Legends@Marina completed
Daily Sparks Tribune 10-18-2011

Barbwire exclusive: Lowe's will close other Sparks location when Legends store opens
Sparks Lowe's tries to build on the cheap, then hires union workers to do it right
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 10-16-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune

Reno scrambles to avoid redevelopment agency default
Reno Gazette-Journal / 10-14-2011

Toljaso long time ago: Cabela's sales taxes not enough to service STAR bond debt
Reno Gazette-Journal / 8-24-2011

Bullshots and bum watches
Huge Tonopah solar array project Nevada's newest corporate welfare queen
U.S. taxpayers help economic recovery for Spain

Residents opposing Comstock pit mine schedule events

Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 8-14-2011 Daily Sparks Tribune

Predictions of calamity were not enough to derail Reno’s runaway train trench. Now what?
Reno News & Review / 7-14-2011

Corporate Welfare Snowball in Hell, Part Deux
Sparks Assemblymember takes a second shot at easing STAR bondage
Daily Sparks Tribune / 1-29-2011

In the RED again: Sparks drowns in red ink, can't pay for police protection
Reno casino projects delayed longer than Sparks

RED WARNING: Sparks must pay RED Development $25 million in 2011
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 10-17-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
UPDATE 10-22-2010 —Sparks Marina hotel-casino time extension to be appealed

The twisted ethics of sports, politics & rock 'n' roll
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 7-11-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

Take my daughter, please:
City hall hicks are still easy to con

Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 6-27-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

Unemployed workers march in protest of epidemic of Nevada jobs going to out-of-state contractors and workers
U-News/ 5-12-2010

STARs Dim: Tension grows in Reno City Council over use of STAR bonds

Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 4-8-2010

Financially upside-down City of Sparks finds subcontractors guilty of wage violations but asks state labor commissioner to waive $30,000 in fines. Go figger.
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 3-21-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

The hits just keep on coming
More construction liens filed against RED Development / Sparks Marina project
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded
from the 1-31-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

When the juice-job chickens come home to roost
Reno insolvent on corporate welfare payment
Reno comes up short in payments to Reno Aces owners
The Reno Redevelopment Agency won't be able to make all of a $1 million payment to the Reno Aces baseball stadium owners because of plummeting property values downtown.
Reno Gazette-Journal 1-26-2010

Governments across the nation add accountability to corporate welfare programs.
Nevada nada.

Reno News & Review 12-21-2009

The crabby cure for what ails us
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 1-17-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

RED flags flying low over Sparks
$1.7mm in construction liens filed against RED Development
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 1-10-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

In the RED:
First of a long series of wage complaints filed against Sparks Marina project
Labor commissioner gives City of Sparks 30 days to investigate
The empire strikes back
12-21-2009 and 12-22-2009

Running red in a frozen economy
Sparks and Reno face huge fines for Cabela's and Scheels labor law violations
Cancerexia: Ralph Lauren boycott widens
Barbwire by Barbano/ Daily Sparks Tribune /

Rory, Rory Hallelujah?
Barbwire by Barbano/ Daily Sparks Tribune / 10-18-2009

More redevelopment
The City of Reno and UNR have a land plan that will kill a park plan.
Are the casinos lurking in the background?

Dennis Myers/ Reno News & Review / 10-15-2009

Judge rules for labor, Reno goes Cabellyup again
The star-crossed history of STAR bonds
Money for nothing and the kicks for free

Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune /

Windows of stained glass and futures passed
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 4-26-2009

Cabela's corporate welfare fails to pay off in a down year
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 3-1-2009

Judge for yourself

Please click on the map

Can one retail store deliver 3,000,000 new visitors a year to Reno when the entire 2006 visitor count was only 5,180,692?
Do you believe in pie in the sky?

Source: Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority 2006 Reno-Sparks Visitor Profile Study

Breaking News: Welfare palace grand opening
Cabela's founder comes to town celebrate his major score while a new book shows the horse thieves for what they really are
Bet Cabela's won't stock the book — or tar and feathers
Paying for our sins
BARBWIRE / Daily Sparks Tribune 1-27-2008

HOT OFF DEPRESS: Local small businesses fear big box kibosh
Gov. Jim the Dim swallows the 3 million body Kool-Aid
EDITOR'S NOTE: The above story appeared in the 11-18-2007 Reno Gazette-Journal, a Gannett newspaper which frequently nukes its archive, leaving lots of stale links. If it's still there when you read it, save it. Likewise the following —

Sparks City Council hires consultant to review prevailing wages on Scheels sporting goods construction
Daily Sparks Tribune 11-13-2007

BARBWIRE: Comeuppance for corporate welfare queens
Reno City Council rolls over and plays dead for the mighty hunter
9-25-2007, Updated 9-26-2007
Nevada hunters and anglers decline in number
Reno Gazette-Journal 9-5-2007

Yesterday, today and tomorrow

In the foreground, a living vestige of bucolic Verdi, Nevada, before Bill & Effie's truckstop became Boomtown, went corporate and began paving the hamlet over.

Boomtown Hotel-Casino and Truckstop —
Proposed high rises have long been planned but not yet built.

The Cabela's project may be seen peeking above the bridge crest at left.

Cabela's taxpayer-subsidized sporting goods store: In order to enjoy the great outdoors, it will be necessary to destroy it.

The tax-subsidized Cabela's megastore under construction on July 20, 2007, facing west toward the California state line. Boomtown's truck stop area, which will be moved as part of the overall development plan, stands directly to the east, behind the camera position.

Saga of the Silver State's latest corporate welfare queen

The Nevada State Legislature passed a law specifically to benefit Cabela's, a very profitable national sporting goods retailer. The STAR (Sales Tax Anticipation Revenue) Bonds law allows Cabela's to use sales taxes generated by the company's Nevada operation to build the store itself. In Nevada, sales tax exemptions come at the expense of schools, parks, roads, other infrastructure, police and fire protection. The justification to allow the City of Reno to sell bonds to build Cabela's retail store: Most of the customers will be tourists. This was pure hype and speculation, and there is no penalty if the promise turns out to be untrue. Will the Brooklyn Bridge be among the merchandise? Read on.

BREAKING NEWS: Reno City Council listens to Building Trades Council criticisms of Cabela's contractors and postpones action on STAR Bonds.

Reno Gazette-Journal coverage of the 6-27-2007 the city council meeting

Cabela's CEO announces plans to open several California outlets (6-7-2007)

Texas does it right: Cabela's refunds tax breaks for breaking job creation promises
(The Free Press 6-27-2007)

What they said in 2006

Financial Implications: The Definitive Agreement between Cabela’s and the City of Reno, as approved January 11, 2006, creates a potential obligation to issue up to $54,000,000 in public bonds. Bonds to be issued could include RDA Tax Increment Bonds, NRS Special Assessment District (SAD) Bonds, and Star Bonds (both taxable and tax exempt). Pursuant to the agreement, Cabela’s would purchase the STAR bonds. Hence, by both legislation and agreement, the STAR bonds would not constitute a liability to the City’s General Fund and in the event that revenues are not sufficient to meet debt service, the bond holder (initially Cabela’s) would not receive bond payment. Further, pursuant to NRS 271A.120(2), any insufficiency in the amount to make bond payments shall be deemed to not constitute a default under the STAR bonds. In addition, with respect to RDA Tax Increment and Special Assessment District financing, the City Council will be required, prior to any debt issuance, to make certain findings. The Agreement specifically preserves the Council’s legislative powers with respect to all financial and policy findings and determinations. (Staff report dated 9-13-2006 in support of Agenda Item I.1 before the Reno City Council on 9-14-2006, emphases added.)

What they say today

"Also required, and will be presented at the July 11 Council meeting, is an agreement with the Department of Taxation outlining the distribution methodology which will be used to ensure the sales and use tax revenues from the Cabela's project per the STAR legislation are made available to the City of Reno to pay debt service on the STAR bonds." (Staff Report in support of agenda item I.5 before the Reno City Council on June 27, 2007, page 251)

"Some general conditions which Cabela's must meet prior to bond issuance which will be detailed further detailed in the financing agreement include:

"...2) Cabela's must fund a debt service reserve in the amount of approximately $2,500,000 which will be held in an interest-bearing account by the City.

" 3) Cabela's will covenant, in writing, that it will not open another Cabela's store within 150 miles of the Reno store location....

"No General Fund pledge is allowed. If actual sales tax increment is insufficient to pay debt service, the City will not be in default, per STAR Bond legislation. Even so, staff feels that it is prudent to require the creation of a cash funded reserve to be used for debt service in the event of a revenue shortfall. Staff recommends a combined reserve of approximately $2,500,000 or half of combined maximum annual debt service. This cash reserve would be funded by Cabela's and would be set aside in an interest-bearing account held by the City. Additionally, staff is proposing a 1.05 times coverage requirement as a further precaution. Building in reserve and coverage requirements will make this transaction similar to other bond transactions completed by the City." (ibid. at 253)

ALL OF WHICH RAISES SERIOUS QUESTIONS: If the city is off the hook financially, why is City Hall acting as though general fund taxes are on the hook? Probably because Reno taxpayers are indeed on the hook. They will pay indirectly if Cabela's defaults and thus negatively impacts the city's bond rating, which means a substantial increase in the cost of future borrowing to finance municipal projects. Notwithstanding state law passed in typical corporate welfare compliance, what is to stop stiffed bondholders from suing the city for payment since the bonds were sold under city auspices? (A section in the proposed bond ordinance seems to facilitate bondholder legal action against the city.) If the city has not been taken off the hook by such a sterling corporate citizen, why is the city controlling corporate cash and acting like a partner as well as a bank?

AND THE BIGGEST QUESTION OF ALL: If followup research shows that most of Cabela's customers are NOT TOURISTS, why is there no safeguard in the agreement to unwind the welfare package? As the following reports show, the underlying premise of tourism business was based on pure speculation leavened with political juice. If Cabela's cannot do what it says it will, that constitutes breach.

What the Reno Gazette-Journal reported on 9-14-2006

Council approves 244-acre special bond district
By Susan Voyles (SVOYLES@RGJ.COM)

A special bond district for Cabela's to benefit from sales tax dollars goes far beyond the outdoor retailer's 30 acres at Boomtown and includes another 134 acres of vacant commercial land owned by the hotel-casino.

The size of the large district was negotiated months ago to give the Reno City Council the maximum flexibility in making projects eligible for sales tax anticipated revenue (STAR) bonds at Boomtown, said City Manager Charles McNeely.

The council on Wednesday gave initial approval of an ordinance to create a 244-acre district. At Councilman Dave Aiazzi's request, the city attorney will remove 10 acres zoned multi-family from the district. Of the remaining 234 acres, Boomtown officials said at least 30 percent includes Interstate 80 so that a new freeway interchange can be a project funded with the sales tax dollars.

Cabela's expects the city to issue up to $54 million in public bonds on its behalf. Up to 75 percent of the sales tax revenue generated by Cabelas's will be used to pay the bonds, making Cabela's liable for the debt and not the city.

Constituent support

Councilwoman Jessica Sferrazza, who voted last year against putting Cabela's in a redevelopment district, said even 25 percent of the sales taxes from Cabela's would generate more money than putting a Wal-Mart there. And she said a number of her constituents want to shop there.

For those reasons, she voted in support of the STAR bond district. Created in 2003 by the Legislature for Cabela's, the law allows businesses that draw a preponderance of customers from outside the state to keep 75 percent of their sales taxes for infrastructure for their stores.

This is the first creation of a STAR bond district in Nevada. The council, the Nevada Commission on Tourism and Gov. Kenny Guinn had to issue a finding that Cabela's will get most of its customers from out of state.

Other businesses seeking STAR financing in the district will have to pass those same tests. None are knocking at the door at this time, Boomtown officials said.

Vivian Freeman, running against Councilwoman Sharon Zadra in Ward 2, attended the hearing but did not address the council. She issued a written statement Wednesday opposing the tax subsidy, saying Nevada communities "do not have to give away the kitchen sink" to draw business.

Mayor Bob Cashell and Councilman Dan Gustin abstained from voting because their companies do business with Boomtown.

What the Reno Gazette-Journal reported on 6-29-2006

Tourism officials OK tax break for Cabela's
By Ryan Randazzo

State tourism officials agreed Wednesday to a tax break for Cabela's outdoor retailer at Boomtown Reno, but suggested an agreement that the company not build another store within 150 miles of town.

The massive outdoor retailer planned off Interstate 80 and west of the Boomtown hotel-casino is applying to use sales tax anticipated revenue bonds, which allow it to direct 75 percent of sales taxes to pay off the development. The Nevada Commission on Tourism agreed Wednesday the plan is appropriate because more than half the business will come from out of state, a requirement for so-called STAR bonds.

Cabela's Real Estate Director, Kevin Rhodes, told the commissioners that during the life of the bonds, the company could agree not to build another store within 150 miles of Reno. The suggestion came after Commissioner Ray Pearson asked about Cabela's growing "too big" and too close to Northern Nevada, and the possibility of diluting sales in Reno.

"Is that going to be the deal?" Commissioner Chuck Scharer asked Rhodes.

Reno consultant and project manager John McIntyre replied for Rhodes that it would be up to the Reno City Council to negotiate such an agreement, but that Cabela's expansion plans are important to the city. The company has 14 stores and another 14, including Reno, on the way.

New Commissioner Howard Reinhardt then asked about other Western store locations, and if such an agreement would only mean Cabela's would build a store just beyond the 150-mile limit.

UPDATE 6-7-2007
Cabela's Inc. at Piper Jaffray 27th Annual Consumer Conference

The key segment about expansion into California comes in the question and answer section at the end, specifically between 23:52 and 24:17. 

Cabela's CEO Dennis Highby’s actual quote: "When we do go to California, we’re not going to just open one store. We believe that it’s important when we go to that state that we have several stores that we open in a very short period of time so we're working on it right now."

"There is a point you have to draw the line," Rhodes replied. "At some point in the future we plan on building in California."

The store can keep $69 million in sales taxes collected at the store to pay off bonds for the development under a plan approved by the Washoe County School District. Such taxes normally would fund public services such as education.

With Wednesday's endorsement from the Nevada Commission on Tourism, the plan needs just a signature from the governor and for the Reno City Council, which developed and already approved the plan, to enact an ordinance creating the special tax district.

Not only will Cabela's retain 75 percent of its sales taxes, but because it is located in a new redevelopment area, most of its property taxes will be returned to the area for reinvestment in the business community.

The $14.3 million in Cabela's property taxes returned to the redevelopment district and the sales taxes total $83.7 million through 2028, when the bonds would be paid off, according to a report prepared for the city. [Emphases added]

NEVADALABOR.COM SPECIAL REPORT: What the Reno City Council said on June 14, 2006

Councilmember David Aiazzi noted that the next step, should the council approve the agenda items before it, would be to forward the issue to the Nevada Commission on Tourism. If the commission signs off, it goes to the governor for approval of the STAR bonds and then back to the council.

He mentioned something about a 150-mile (market protection?) radius which is apparently noted in the Meridian Business Advisors report.

Former Washoe County Manager John McIntyre has been hired as consultant to the city on this project and made a PowerPoint presentation.

Councilmember Dan Gustin questioned the viability and longevity if Cabela's opens up in California. Press reports have noted that they plan to do so. (Reno Gazette-Journal May 11, 2006)

Gustin added that he thinks the "overall benefit to the community is there," but questioned the exclusivity (in light of potential California stores) and 20-year viability (the term of the bonds).

Councilmember Sharon Zadra asked Mr. McIntyre for the history of STAR bonds and legislative intent. He read from (2005) Senate Bill 306 recitals that they are strictly for economic development and tourism.

An analysis of the bonds was presented to the council on April 26. Costs and revenues were analyzed as a net positive for the Washoe County School District when new enrollment was factored in, McIntyre asserted.

It will be a net positive to the city over 20 years, McIntyre stated.

Sixty-eight percent of the sales tax increase will be attributable to tourists, he added.

With respect to displacement of local business, Mr. McIntyre asserted that "it’s hard to say."

Cabela's has "worked with some displaced businesses in other communities," McIntyre stated, but he added that he was not saying that they have made a commitment to do that here.

The Washoe County School District will, at worst, break even, he asserted. At best, it will produce a positive impact for the county, he said.

Ms. Zadra asked if anyone can apply for the STAR bonds. Mr. McIntyre answered in the affirmative.

Councilmember Jessica Sferrazza was informed that under Nevada Revised Statues 271A, the city has no liability for default of the bonds, no credit impact.

Mr. McIntyre noted to Councilmember Pierre Hascheff that public improvement has been considered in the Meridian Business report.

Councilman Aiazzi moved to adopt and pass the staff report. Mayor Cashell did not ask for a second. It passed unanimously (7-0) despite the typical parliamentary oversight.

Several members noted that this was not the final decision, that they were just moving the process along.


"Based on catalog and Internet sales, Cabela's said 68 percent of its customers will be Californians who live within 150 miles. City consultant John MacIntyre said it's safe to assume Cabela's would protect that area and not build another store within that ring." (Reno Gazette-Journal 6-15-2006, emphasis added)


At what cost?
By Ryan Randazzo
Copyright © RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL June 4, 2006

Cabela's outdoor retailer is nearing its final approval to reap $83.7 million in tax breaks for a Reno store, but competitors are arguing such subsidies are inappropriate because the stores are spreading so quickly.

Reno and other cities won't see the tourism boost from massive Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops they are banking on, opponents argue, because too many are being built....

But the public relations campaign initiated by Minnesota-based Gander Mountain, which has stores across the eastern half of the U.S., is trying to convince public officials that Cabela's and Bass Pro stores don't deserve the tens of millions in tax subsidies local governments are providing them to attract tourists....

The city report by Meridian Business Advisors says the Reno store will generate $50 million in annual sales, and that 68 percent of that, $34 million, would be California shoppers.

That assumes 80 percent of the Cabela's online catalog sales within 150 miles of Boomtown would convert to in-store sales. Their logic — shoppers prefer a store to walk into rather than purchase online.

The report did not consider what impact new Cabela's or Bass Pro outlets in Northern California would have on the Boomtown store sales. Besides Bass Pro's plans for a Sacramento store, Cabela's officials have said they plan several California stores....

But the anti-subsidy advocates point to Cabela's last quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, where the company reported lower sales at its Owatonna, Minn., store following a new store opening in Rogers, Minn. The Owatonna store is similar in size to the Reno store, which is larger than a Wal-Mart.

"The numbers in Owatonna have been down slightly, but we planned for that and they have not been significant," Draper said.

Other doubts

A report from Washoe County Finance Director John Sherman on the store showed doubts, too.

"Although Cabela's provides compelling evidence for their ability to draw customers from great distances, this data is both in the past and in the Midwest," Sherman wrote....

Other retailers hurt

While Gander doesn't have any Northern Nevada stores, other outdoor retailers in the region agree the subsidies to Cabela's offer an unfair advantage.

Reno Fly Shop owner Dave Stanley says he will likely have to close his business after 23 years once Cabela's opens.

"I can compete on a level paying field, but when the scales are tilted, I can't," Stanley said. "Having that extra thousands of dollars a month (from sales taxes) would be an advantage I'm not going to get."

He said the city and county have to make decisions that benefit them the most.

"The unfortunate part of that is in the process, the number of sporting goods stores in town will be impacted by Cabela's. Do I think it is fair? No. Do I think that matters to anybody in the city or county? No."


Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada/AFL-CIO
protests Cabela's use of illegal, unlicensed contractors

UPDATE 7-24-2007 — Building trades council increases the heat.

TO: Nevada News Media (6-25-2007) — Attached, you will find a press release concerning Cabela's and their construction company, Layton Construction. The Reno City Council will review whether to provide $40.5 million dollars worth of STAR bonds to Cabela's this Wednesday. We are questioning whether a company which has entered into a business relationship with unethical contractors should receive the benefit of these bonds. (See attached complaint with Nevada Contractors Board.)

BREAKING NEWS: Reno City Council listens to Building Trades Council criticisms of Cabela's contractors and postpones action on STAR Bonds.

Reno Gazette-Journal coverage of the 6-27-2007 the city council meeting



RESEARCH: Cabela's track record around the country Read More About It

In the RED:
First of a long series of wage complaints filed against Sparks Marina project
Labor commissioner gives City of Sparks 30 days to investigate
The empire strikes back
12-21-2009 and 12-22-2009

Solidarity Walk and Rally in support of LVX TSA security officers


Running red in a frozen economy
Sparks and Reno face huge fines for Cabela's and Scheels labor law violations
Cancerexia: Ralph Lauren boycott widens
Barbwire by Barbano/ Daily Sparks Tribune /

Rory, Rory Hallelujah?
Barbwire by Barbano/ Daily Sparks Tribune / 10-18-2009

More redevelopment
The City of Reno and UNR have a land plan that will kill a park plan.
Are the casinos lurking in the background?

Dennis Myers/ Reno News & Review / 10-15-2009

Judge rules for labor, Reno goes Cabellyup again
The star-crossed history of STAR bonds
Money for nothing and the kicks for free

Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune /

Windows of stained glass and futures passed
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 4-26-2009

Cabela's corporate welfare fails to pay off in a down year
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 3-1-2009

Toljaso, long time ago

City of Sparks won't touch "responsible contractors" issue
Daily Sparks Tribune 3-15-2008
Painters Union pickets Scheels store at Sparks Marina Legends development Breaking News & Bulletins 3-14
2007: Building Trades Council criticizes Cabela's contractors and sales tax projections
BARBWIRE: Let It Bleed
Daily Sparks Tribune 2-25-2007
Sparks City Council hires consultant to review prevailing wages on Scheels sporting goods construction
Daily Sparks Tribune 11-13-2007
BARBWIRE: Comeuppance for corporate welfare queens
Reno City Council rolls over and plays dead for the mighty hunter
Daily Sparks Tribune 9-25-2007, Updated 9-26-2007
BARBWIRE: Welfare Are Us
Daily Sparks Tribune 1-15-2006

Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive

Other War Rooms: Don't get mad, get moving
Cabbies, Cable TV, Cancer Kids, Energy, Health Care, Resurge.TV, Starbucks, Wal-Mart | Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive | U-News | Bulletins + Almanac
Casinos Out of Politics (COP) | Sen. Joe Neal
Guinn Watch | Deciding Factors
| BallotBoxing.US | Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive
Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive
Annual César Chávez Celebration
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Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
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