Cabela's announces plans to open Noblesville store

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Cabela's is coming to Hamilton County.

The outdoor sporting goods retailer announced plans Thursday to build a store in Noblesville. It will be the company's second store in Indiana, including an existing store in Hammond. Cabela's also has a store in Louisville, Kentucky.

The store will cover approximately 80,000 square feet and will be located west of the Hamilton 16 IMAX movie theater in Saxony, adjacent to Hamilton Town Center. It will employ about 170 workers.

Yats at Hamilton Town Center already serves up a hearty lunch of Cajun and Creole specialties like their chili cheese e'toufee with crawfish. News of a new Cabela's literally in their backyard means they'll be cooking up even more spicy stews for hungry customers.

"Not only do they bring a lot of employees and people that work within their own facility," explained Yats general manager Rick Dowden, "the people that will come to visit a Cabela's is innumerable."

The news has one mayor elated.

"We're very excited about it!" said Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear.

And another scratching his head.

"I'd say I was pretty shocked and pretty disheartened all at the same time," explained Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers.

The store was supposed to open in Greenwood. It even bought and started developing land near I-65 and County Line Road. But work stopped in 2008 due to the recession.

"We're pretty shocked and kinda hurt that we weren't considered again," said Myers.

Myers said he contacted Cabela's at least three times about restarting the project. He says each time he was told the retailer wasn't going to build in central Indiana.

"Site selection said Greenwood was where they needed to be, where they wanted to be. Greenwood is an up-and-coming community and we should have been reconsidered," said Myers.

Ditslear revealed Thursday secret negotiations between the chain and his city have been going on for nearly two years.

"Certainly for Noblesville and actually the surrounding area, it will bring a lot of people, it is a destination and we're excited about that," said Ditslear.

And so while one city has an empty lot, another has a field of dreams, with doors set to open in the fall of 2015.

"More business is good for the City of Noblesville, for the Hamilton Town Center Mall and really for all of us," said Dowden, the Yats general manger.

It's still unclear why Cabela's chose Noblesville over Greenwood. Company officials did not respond to e-mails Thursday seeking clarification.

A planned extension of Campus Parkway south to 136th Street will be moved up to this year to be ready for the store's opening.