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WHEAT RIDGE, CO-A 44-page page analysis by Chip King of Denver-based King & Associates shows that the communities of Northern Jefferson County likely will see a $400-million economic impact from the first Cabela’s-anchored shopping center planned in this city near Interstate 70 and Highway 58.

The impact will come from new jobs, tax revenues and additional business activity from the retail development. In addition to attracting new tourist dollars, the retail development is expected to convert huge Internet and catalog sales from Colorado into in-store sales.

In addition to the $40-million, 230,000-sf Cabela’s store, the proposed retail development surrounding the store includes another 400,000 sf of retail and lodging. The report shows the development will provide: 2,800 to 3,700 direct and indirect jobs to the area; $400 million in new spending from tourists and residents; $13.8 million in tax revenue annually to the state, Jefferson County and Wheat Ridge; and $70 million to $80 million for transportation and infrastructure improvements.

“All the communities of northern Jefferson County stand to benefit economically from the proposed Cabela’s development,” says Wheat Ridge Mayor Gretchen Cerveny. “Our region has long needed a catalyst for economic stimulus and infrastructure improvements, and this study shows the proposed Cabela’s development will play a major role in helping us achieve these ends. This retail development project will breathe new life into the city of Wheat Ridge and the surrounding communities by creating good-paying jobs, building a new tax base for long-overdue infrastructure improvements and providing an economic shot-in-the-arm to area businesses.”

Wheat Ridge commissioned the study to identify the revenues the project will generate to support infrastructure improvements. The study finds that in addition to generating $1.2 million in new tourist tax dollars, the proposed development will capture an additional $500,000 in sales tax revenue normally lost to catalogue, Internet sales and Coloradans traveling to Cabela’s Sydney, NE store.

“Significant increases in economic activity and infrastructure improvements are common wherever Cabela’s has opened stores around the country,” says Tim Leonard, economic consultant to the City of Wheat Ridge. “Cabela’s is a quality, destination retailer that spurs significant tax revenues and economic activity in the communities where they locate.” The project is now going through an Environmental Assessment process that may take as long as 12 months. Cabela’s hopes to open its Wheat Ridge store by August of 2007.

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