Facts about the Cabela's cabal
How to become a corporate welfare queen for fun and profit


Before the Reno City Council 7-24-2007

RENO (July 24, 2007) — Construction union representatives kept up the heat on Cabela's sporting goods at today's Reno City Council meeting.

In the latest of a continuing series of presentations before the body over the past several weeks, Paul McKenzie, business representative of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada/AFL-CIO, noted the deficiencies in the huge sporting goods chain's taxpayer-subsidized construction project.

McKenzie told officials that a June 27, 2007, city staff report presented to the council used unaudited projections of Cabela's retail sales figures.

McKenzie asked if the city's consultant, Meridian Business Advisors, confirmed Cabela's estimates that its currently under-construction megastore in Verdi, east of Reno, could actually generate the $28 million in annual sales projected for it. McKenzie questioned the assumption, given that the average Cabela's location grosses about $14 million per year, according to Cabela's SEC reporting for 2006.

McKenzie called the council's attention to page seven of the draft STAR (sales tax anticipation revenue) bonds ordinance included in the city staff report regarding the definition of costs of the project. He noted that page eight additionally includes property rights, easements and demolition expenses as subject to STAR bond public financing.

Therefore, McKenzie concluded, any work involved in moving part of the Boomtown Hotel-Casino truck stop, which is adjacent to the Cabela's location, would be subject to the Nevada Prevailing Wage Law (as outlined in Nevada Revised Statutes section 271A.130 which regulates STAR bonds).

City staff thus far has disputed that any work to move part of Boomtown's truck stop is subject to the prevailing wage law.

John Seymour, Business Representative of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 401/AFL-CIO, informed the council that half of the electricians currently working on the Cabela's project are unlicensed.

Four of eight individuals noted on certified payroll records on file with the Nevada Labor Commissioner have been working illegally, Seymour said.

His comments were rebutted by former Washoe County Manager John MacIntyre, now a consultant to the City of Reno on construction projects. MacIntyre asserted that Mr. Seymour was using reports which have since been updated.

He added that all of the electricians on the Cabela's project are now certified and that new ones will be certified before beginning work, as opposed to the previous procedure of assessing certification after hire — which means that Mr. Seymour was correct in his assertions of the use of uncertified electricians.

Stay tuned.

Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada/AFL-CIO
1819 Hymer Ave
Sparks, NV 89431
(775) 355-9200


Cabela’s: Are STAR bonds a reward for unethical behavior?

(Reno, Nev., June 25, 2007) — When Cabela’s selected Layton Construction from Arizona as the general contractor to build its retail store near Boomtown, we hoped they didn’t expect the project to be surrounded by controversy, but it has been. From failure to follow wage laws to refusal to abide by reporting requirements, it has been a constant battle to keep Layton and its subcontractors in compliance with Nevada state law.

Now Layton is being investigated for violation of Nevada’s contracting laws as the company allegedly solicited bids and entered into contracts with non-licensed contractors.

"Granted Cabela’s is the first STAR
(sales tax anticipation revenue) bonds project in the state, but that should not be an excuse for ignoring the law," stated Building Trades Business Representative Paul McKenzie.

"The City of Reno will look at finalizing the STAR bonds process this Wednesday (6-27-2007), and they should take a long look at Cabela’s and their general contractor’s lack of respect for the law," McKenzie said, "and the taxpayers of Reno should be concerned with the approval of the first $40.5 million of tax incentives lined up for Cabela’s.

"That would hire a lot of police officers," he noted.

"On top the money, the city abandoned Garson Road and donated it to the Cabela’s project. That, my fellow taxpayer, is a lot of incentive," McKenzie stated.

By viewing the staff report for Wednesday’s meeting and doing a little math, Cabela’s expects to generate over $27 million in sales their first year in business here in Reno. They are expecting a lot as their other 20 stores only generated $304.9 million last year combined, according to their 2006 SEC reporting. This is the minimum amount they need to make the payment on the bonds they are expecting to receive.

Public records show this is not the first corporate welfare experience for Cabela’s as they are building stores throughout the United States using taxpayer’s money. A glance at their website shows this is one of the requirements of building a store in any area, the willingness of the government to pay them to build.

Starting in November of last year, the Building Trades Council has monitored Cabela’s and constantly brought violations of the law to the attention of the city council. While the city council has acted quickly to bring Cabela’s back into compliance, why should Cabela’s, which claims to be a good citizen, have to be watched to assure they follow the law?

"If you or I run a stop light, we don’t get told not to do it again, we get a ticket. Is Cabela’s going to get a $24 million reward for their unethical behavior? " McKenzie asked.

"The taxpayers we represent at the Building Trades Council certainly hope not, but we’ll be at the City Council meeting on Wednesday to see", he concluded.


Letter from State of Nevada Contractors Board to Layton Construction



Back to
Read More About It

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/Scheels project

Labor commissioner gives City of Sparks 30 days to investigate
The empire strikes back
12-21-2009 and 12-22-2009

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
Letter to Reno News & Review from reader Terry W. Tieney in opposition to corporate welfare subsidies
BARBWIRE: Welfare Are Us
Daily Sparks Tribune 1-15-2006

RESEARCH: Cabela's track record around the country

Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive

Other War Rooms: Don't get mad, get moving
Cabbies, Cable TV, Cancer Kids, Energy, Resurge.TV, Starbucks, Wal-Mart | 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
War Rooms:
Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
Search this site | In Search Of...


Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors, CWA 9413 signatory

Comments and suggestions appreciated. Sign up for news and bulletins