Proposed Cabela's location

National outdoors outfitter Cabela’s said Thursday it will build its fourth Wisconsin store in Sun Prairie, where it will be the final retail anchor for Prairie Lakes Shopping Center.

The 86,000-square-foot store is to open in spring 2015 at Highways 151 and C, with a groundbreaking next year, company officials said. It would employ about 200 people in a mix of full-time, part-time and seasonal positions.

“We’re excited they chose us,” said Neil Stechschulte, the city’s director of economic and community development, noting it could strengthen the shopping center and Sun Prairie’s reputation with retailers, other types of businesses and potential new residents.

“There’s only going to be one Cabela’s in the Madison marketplace,” Stechschulte added. “We think it sends a great message out. It’s going to increase the interest level in the whole west side for Sun Prairie.”

Based in Sidney, Neb., Cabela’s is a specialty retailer of hunting, fishing, camping, shooting, boating and related outdoor recreation merchandise. It operates 48 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

The Sun Prairie Cabela’s will be in the southernmost parcel of the shopping center owned and being developed by Prairie Development. The location gives it exposure to Highway 151, a requirement of the company to locate in the 110-acre center, Jerry Connery of Prairie Development said Thursday.

The three other anchor tenants in the center are a 130,000-square-foot Target, which opened in 2009, a Costco store and a $20 million Woodman’s Market grocery store, both of which opened last year, at 152,000 and 225,000 square feet, respectively.

Connery said Milwaukee-based Marcus Theatres also has signed an agreement to locate a 100,000-square-foot, multi-screen cinema in the development, on roughly the same timetable as the planned Cabela’s store.

Marcus Corp. could not be reached for confirmation Thursday, but company officials have talked about putting a theater there for many months.

The Marcus theater originally was slated to open in the spot that will be occupied by Cabela’s, Connery and city officials said. Now it’s to be located just north of the Costco at Hoepker Road and Triumph Drive.

Founded in 1961, Cabela’s boasts of providing an immersive shopping experience, surrounding its customers with realistic outdoors decor including hundreds of museum-quality wildlife displays, trophy animal mounts, an indoor archery range and a replica of a large mountain in many of its stores, with its gear and clothing for sale interwoven throughout.

Those elements are slated for the Sun Prairie store, along with an area for used gun sales, a “bargain cave” for discounted items, and a deli and fudge shop.

“We have had great success in the state already,” Cabela’s spokesman Nathan Borowski said. “The outdoor lifestyle is placed at a premium in Wisconsin.”

The other Wisconsin Cabela stores are in Prairie du Chien, Richfield and Green Bay, where a store opened in late July. Borowski said the Prairie du Chien store opened in 1998 and Richfield in 2006.


Karen Rivedal is the education beat reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.