Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Hunting, Fishing, and Camping For All

Come September Connecticut (and New England) residents will have another reason to cheer at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. That's right, Governor Jodi Rell has announced that Cabela Inc. will begin construction of New England's first Cabela’s store, which sells merchandise for hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor activities. It is estimated that the store will create 4,000-5,000 jobs - how's that for election season economic development!!

"Today is about job creation," Rell told dozens of officials at the football stadium, which occupies about 75 acres of the 725-acre Rentschler Field tract that its owner, United Technologies Corp., wants to develop.
For those of you who have never been to a Cabela’s, you are in for quite an adventure...Keep up the great job creation and economic development, Governor Rell!


Please note that I inadvertently referenced the Cabela's store as the source for creating 4,000-5,000 jobs. The new Cabela's store should create approximately 300 new jobs, and the overall Rentschler Field expansion project will result in approximately 4,000-5,000 new jobs. [Sorry for the confusion, and a special thanks to "Grumpy" for bringing my error to my attention.]


Uhlinger, Dan, The Hartford Courant, August 16, 2006, East Hartford Cabela's Plans Announced


GMR said...

The East Hartford store will be similar in size to the Kansas City (KS) and Buda (TX) stores.

Kansas City is 180,000 square feet, and Buda's is 185,000 square feet. That's a lot of square feet!

Lots of stuffed large animals, lots of guns. Some stores have indoor archery ranges, and banquet and meeting facilities. Looks like they've got 15 stores now, with another 13 opening soon. All of their stores are in the US, but one of the ones that is opening soon is in Montreal.

bluecoat said...

voo doo economics or Rowlandnomics; take your pick!!!

Anonymous said...

Gosh, if I'm John DeStefano, its like the Remington closure all over again. I don't know which way to turn. Jobs and guns. I like one but not the other ... what's a pol to do?

Genghis Conn said...

Indoor archery range, huh? Sounds good.

Anonymous said...


Do you ever have anyhting nice to say? Maybe if it was 10,000 jobs you would be happy?

Anonymous said...

bluecoat - maybe you've spent to much time in the hot sun this summer, because this is the most illogical, nonsensical post you have made yet. How exactly is it that job creation is "voodoo" economics, or Rowlandnomics (whatever that term means, since no one in the media or anyone either pro or anti John Rowland ever used that term)? Do you doubt their figures? Do you doubt the place in our economy for such retail outlets and the jobs they create? By the way, the people of East Hartford are happy (including the Democrat Mayor); as are the people who will be working at the store. Get some shade bluecoat, your brain is fried.

Anonymous said...

If it was announced we were losing 75 jobs, this thread would be full....

ken krayeske said...

Maybe if the state wasn't throwing $21.9 million in public financing for private profit, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

This Cabela's project will do wonders to shift our economy and culture from gross, wasteful consumerism to green entreprenuerialism and self-sufficiency.

I suppose it's like Bush said after 9/11, keep shopping. No word from our enabling press about the quality of health care for Cabela's employees.

This is the same cheerleading we saw for the Patriots' stadium, and I just can't see how 4,000 retail jobs are good for our economy.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting article by AP on Cabela's. They estimate that the store in East Hartford will draw 3.5 million people a year. Yikes! The average shopper stays in the store for more than 2 hours.

Hey, bluecoat, think those 3.5 million people might do some other shopping, eating or other tourist type activity while they are at Cabela's. You bet they will.

I guess you never owned your own business, huh?

PS Here is what the Mayor said: "This is a giant step forward for the economic future of East Hartford and Connecticut as a whole," said East Hartford Mayor Melody Currey (Democrat).

The True Gentleman said...

To be clear, the State is providing $9.9 million for the Cabela's project and an additional $12 for additional Rentschler improvements.

Grumpy said...

"It is estimated that the store will create 4,000-5,000 jobs - how's that for election season economic development!!"

Yeah, right. Tell me another one.

The store itself is creating 315 full time equivalent jobs.

The big job creation numbers are based on the assumed economic activity the store will generate in the region. That's one big assumption, but if it's accurate, the state is spending $4,400 - $5,500 to create each of those jobs.

The JI story here has more details. Including these two tidbits:

"On the downside, the study found that the big-box retailer would weaken or push other outdoor retailers out of business, especially independent ones. In that aspect, the store would have a negative impact on local jobs and businesses in the same market, according to the study."

"...the town of East Hartford last year agreed to give Cabela's $6.7 million in property tax abatements..."

Subract those existing local jobs from the rosy assumption of job creation folks. Also, don't forget to tell the East Hartford taxpayers some of those lost jobs are coming from their town and that their property taxes are going to subsidize Cabela's to the tune of $21,000 per job the store is creating.

Yet another example of politicians taxing our families and handing the money over to a greedy corporate special interest.

TrueBlueCT said...

Cabela's is a great anchor, but did we really have to give them a free store in order for them to locate to Connecticut?

If you do the math, you'll discover that between the State of CT, and East Hartford, Cabela's was given over $16 Million. For a 200,000 sqft store, this comes out to something like $75-80/sqft! Wow. If this is Jodi Rell's idea of economic development we are in big trouble.

On a contrasting note, does anyone know what John DeStefano had to give to IKEA in order for them to come to New Haven? Anything?

Just curious.

TrueBlueCT said...

Well, found this out so far. IKEA spent $1.7 Million in roadway improvements as part of their deal with New Haven.

Source, here.

TrueBlueCT said...

Well, I just spent twenty minutes going through the New Haven Register archive, and I couldn't find any hand-outs to IKEA. What I did find was that the city required IKEA to spend on roadway improvements, and they also convinced IKEA to kick in $100,000 to Gateway Community College to recruit and train New Haven residents.

The IKEA deal was accomplished by DeStefano campaign manager Henry Fernandez. Maybe Rell should have talked with Henry before she gave away the proverbial farm up in East Hartford.

cgg said...

Doesn't sound nearly as fun as Ikea. :)

AB said...

Some of you peopel are simply clueless. Firstly if you think Ikea didnt get millions ihn tax incentives your delusional. In every state in this country, municipalities and states are giving tax incentvies to attarct new business. this is particularly the case in Connecticut and the Northeast in general. The cost of doing business here is so high that states need to entice these companies to locate here. its just the facts.

Dont blame Jodi Rell for the fact that its too darn expensive to do business in the state and the northeast. Last i checked in fact the major players , NY, NJ, MA and CT may have Democratic contrlled state governments outside the governship. The fact is its the legislative body that has the most ability to make business more affordbale and they do little.

You whining democrats cant even find something positive when a strong successful retailer relocates here. And to the comment that one cant see anything positive about retail jobs being created, thas an awfully demeaning thing to say and believe. Alot fo good people work in retail, some make good money some dont. Thats life......

Anonymous said...


When it turns out you were wrong, will you apologize to me?

But I agree, what the DeStefano administration pulled off was amazing. That's why I'm voting for him!

GMR said...

In every state in this country, municipalities and states are giving tax incentvies to attarct new business. this is particularly the case in Connecticut and the Northeast in general. The cost of doing business here is so high that states need to entice these companies to locate here. its just the facts.

It is completely ridiculous that the state government should be giving incentives to certain businesses so they'll come here. That's one of the reasons costs are so high here. It is also results in incredible distortions of the market economy. Instead of lowering taxes for everyone, you lower it for a particular store or other business based on how good their lobbyists are.

If a state or municipality wants to attract businesses, then lower taxes for everyone. Then the market can determine should be here.

I hate it that all these municipalities do this. Small businesses don't get this benefit. Why should this store? So that Rell can issue a press release, whereas if 10 stores each hired 32 new workers, that wouldn't make a good press release?

If no incentives were given, does that mean that no stores would locate in Connecticut? I find that hard to believe.

Anonymous said...

We should be getting away from a property tax driven tax system.

But since that's what we currently have let's take a look at what retail brings in as opposed to manufacturing, office, so forth.

On a per-square foot per year basis; retail brings in 25% of office; factories typically bring in 50-60% of office.

Retail also creates police calls (locked out of my car, shoplifting, etc.) AVG "call" in CT is a little over $100. (number of calls / police budget) not to mention litter - retail always brings an increase in litter.

Retail is in other words, a loser.

BIG retail usually knocks out little retail and then everyone wonders where the Little League sponsors went. (ie: Target refuses to allow any access to their property while good companies (even one really big one Walmart) do).

This deal is stupid, so was getting all worked up about IKEA's attraction to the 91/95 intersection (as if that NH mayor had anything to do w/it - (not))

BRubenstein said...

Aaron B...calling us " whining democrats is beneath contempt...try acting civally and maybe you wont turn off everyone..including some very civil folks in your party.

Grumpy said...

I don't oppose all government expenditures intended to stimulate the economy and help employers create jobs.

Only the blatantly wasteful and inefficient ones.

What hacks me off is the arrogant lack of accountability when it comes to spending for "economic development." Politicians from both parties in Hartford dole out this money like booze at a campaign fundraiser.

"Why thank you for the check. How much of my constituent's money would you like this year?"

But they do nothing to ensure that taxpayers are getting real value for the money being spent.

$75 worth of "incentives" per square foot? $21,000 in property tax breaks per new Cabela's employee? East Hartford has a little under 50,000 residents. Mayor Currey could have taken that $6.7 million in property tax breaks and instead used it to cut property taxes $134 for each town resident. That would've been $536 in property tax relief for a family of 4.

Give me a break.

TrueBlueCT said...

Kudos to GMR--

A Republican who will readily stand up and admit when something stinks in the state of Connecticut.

Tough for me to say, but I admire your truthfulness. I will work to find common ground with you.

GMR said...

I think it's horrible that existing businesses have to pay higher property taxes so this company can get a property tax holiday.

Let's face it, this store would almost certainly have come to somewhere in CT even if no municipality offered tax breaks. Maybe not East Hartford, but somewhere. (If the chain couldn't be profitable without getting property tax rebates, then either there's a serious problem with its business model or property taxes are way too high to support much of any business). By offering these targeted tax breaks, the state makes it more expensive for other businesses in this state, and it also creates a very un-level playing field. When I moved to this state, no one offered me a tax break!

As for the argument that big retailers push out the little retailers, I'm not terribly concerned about that, provided that the playing field was level (i.e., the big retailers are subject to the same taxes that the little guys are). Businesses come and go all the time, and it makes no sense for the government to try to pick which businesses it thinks are worthy and which aren't. Many businesses fail every day. If we have businesses failing because of intense competition, ultimately the customers will benefit (because if businesses are failing due to competition, customers are obviously choosing the competing businesses). If many businesses are failing because of bad tax policy, regulation or other governmental action or inaction, then this will act as an unfortunate catalyst for the government to change its policies. Or for the voters to change the government.

I don't oppose all government expenditures intended to stimulate the economy and help employers create jobs.

Even if an expenditure is efficient, it may not be right. I'm sure tht the New London eminent domain case is (excluding the lawsuits) efficient, and will create a bunch of jobs and will stimulate the economy. However, because it effectively destroys the concept of private party, which is one of the most important, if not the most important, components of our free-market economy, I'm still opposed to it.

And I'm opposed to this deal, even if it makes perfect financial sense and is net revenue positive for the state, because it creates an unfair playing field, and forces other companies to essentially pay more in property taxes so this one can pay less.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

GMR said... this store would almost certainly have come to somewhere in CT even if no municipality offered tax breaks. Maybe not East Hartford, but somewhere.

I-691 & I-84 or (and also looked at I believe) I-84 at Rt 229 (the road to Bristol / Lake Compounce)

More central, easier access and probably better demography. Equa-distant Boston/NYC

Southington's econ. dev guy didn't fight for it as the total long term tax base isn't there and he (a Dem no-less) isn't stupid.

bluecoat said...

GMR: you sound like a Republican. and I know you are but there are so few in state govt. depsite the "R" on thier lapels.

Derby Conservative said...

Just a few quick questions for all you libs who said that retail is bad (in a few different comments) you really believe that? Where will you obtain supplies, food, clothing? Do you all live in communes? Are you only making a stink because Cabellas is non union? Are you really only making a stink because Cabellas sells firearms? Have you ever...nevermind. You people can not be reasoned with anyway.

Grumpy said...

Derby Conservative -

I don't think retail is "bad." I do think it's bad public policy for Governor Rell and the legislature to shovel our tax dollars into the pockets of corporations without any regard for whether the state is getting real value for that expenditure.

It's obscene how many tax dollars are being thrown at this project.

I'll refrain from taking on your asinine union, communes and guns comments since my experience is that people who use the phrase "you people" aren't generally interested in anything beyond name calling.

bluecoat said...

Grumpy sounds like a conservative Republican.

fishhead said...

The big boy is gettin 10 million bucks to come and operate here. Not a loan- a handout. I am a small businessman in a related field. My home and that of my partners are mortgaged to the hilt. The discretionary income that people used to buy my goods with is shrinking with every rattle of a middle east sabre.

Yep. It makes perfect sense to GIVE 10 million to Cabellas and nothing to the hundreds of related small businesses whose owners live in Connecticut, have been paying taxes and struggling to stay in business.

Great idea. Keep up the good work.